2018 New Voters is excited to announce that we have partnered with an organization called VOHTE. VOHTE is devoted to providing non partisan information on candidates throughout Pennsylvania currently and are in the process of expanding to the national level. We believe that having impartial information is crucial to making an informed decision, and the right decision for you. As such, we are ecstatic that organizations like VOHTE are out there trying to give people the best information they can tell to make the best decision they can and support them entirely. Right now, on our website, there is a link so that you can access information on candidates near you and register to vote. For more on VOHTE, you can visit VOHTE.COM
2018 New Voters is proud to announce a partnership with High School Republicans of Texas to run voter registration drives in many Texas high schools. This is expected to be the first of many partnerships with Republican organizations, supplements our partnership with HS Democrats and reconfirms our core position that high school voter registration is a nonpartisan issue.
Adam Hoffman, president of High School Republicans of Texas, said "2018 New Voters is doing important work in taking action to combat apathy and promote engagement." These partnerships bolster New Voters' rapidly growing network, and ensure a nonpartisan and inclusive experience for all who want to vote. So far in March alone, we have made contact with 87 high schools from 18 states to run voter registration drives and expect to see many more in the coming months.
The 2018 New Voters club will be present in Philadelphia today at the “Let People Vote Kick Off’ event at St. Joseph’s University. The event will feature a resource fair and opportunities to register to vote! There will also be speakers like our very own Founder Jahnavi Rao. The event is at 3 pm today and a large selection of other organizations will be there including NextGen America, NAACP of Pennsylvania, Emgage, Citizens of Better Elections and many more!
2018 New Voters is excited to announce that we have partnered with the High School Democrats of America to identify leaders and create chapters of 2018NV across the country, to host successful registration drives. Since its official launch less than 24 hours ago, 30 new schools have reached out to us in 16 new states. These schools will be brought into our voter registration program that has been successfully used in our chapters across Pennsylvania, with access to scripts and individualized training from our Ambassadors. We are currently in discussions with Teenage Republicans and are optimistic that we can partner with them as well, in order to ensure a nonpartisan experience and option for people of all political ideologies that wish to exercise their voice.
“High School Democrats of America is ready and thrilled to register students across the country to vote. Spreading voter registration expertise-- connecting students experienced with voter registration to less experienced students-- will spread drives in schools big and small. Our concrete training plan, and wide-spread ranks of HSDA Ambassadors, will provide our ability to support every new and interested activist. Building a movement is the gathering of power; beyond partisan lines, voting is how we exercise that power.”
--Jeremy Ornstein, High School Democrats Association National Chair
By Jahnavi Rao, Conestoga High School Class of 2018
At sixteen you can’t vote, and you are told there is not much you can do in government. But I refused to let that be my reality, and decided to get involved.
After the Inauguration, I formed this nonpartisan organization, 2018 New Voters, to give a voice to those who were not eligible to vote in 2016. We grew in numbers and resolve as 2017 trudged along. Late in the summer, I reached out to members in the Pennsylvania State government and spoke with the Deputy Secretary of Elections, who put me in touch with Inspire U.S., an organization that helped spring 2018 New Voters to the next level.
Together with Inspire U.S. and the PA State Department, 2018 New Voters held a large-scale voter registration drive at my high school.
Volunteers waited outside sporting events, cold-called houses from the phonebook, walked into homerooms looking for specific people, and texted everyone and their cousin to reach out to the unregistered students, using fourth/fifth parties to contact whoever they could. Students I never knew walked up to ask me how they could help. We went from 30% registered four days prior to the deadline, to 70% three days later. By Tuesday, with more text messages sent out than I've sent in my entire life, we soared past 85%.
When I began, I did not realize how daunting 85% is. There is no margin of error, and you have to take students from every group -- people you’ve never talked to, been told not to, and, in one memorable case, someone who identified as an anarchist -- and get them to register to vote. Without the active and persistent reach-out, I truly believe we would have only registered less than 50% of the eligible seniors.
People my age don't want to be idle, and wish to be involved further. In my wildest dreams I hope that this event struck a chord in some by giving them the opportunity to make a difference.