Registration Effort Aimed At Getting Chicago High School Students To Vote

CHICAGO (CBS) — With 17-year-old’s now eligible to vote in Illinois, there’s going to be a massive registration effort in the schools ahead of the March primaries.

To hear Brian Brady tell it, “Kids aren’t apathetic, they’re uninvited.”

Brady is the executive director at the Mikva Challenge, a Chicago non-profit that connects students with the political process.

“The best way to get kids to register who aren’t already political is to get their peers to ask them to register,” said Brady.

Brady says that’s what will be happening in most Chicago High Schools with an unprecedented and massive voter registration effort aimed at as many as 40,000 new voters.

“Kids don’t need to be taught it’s cool. Kids care about the issues. They care about school, they care about safety, they care about going to college, so if you get them talking about that and then connect them to the elections, they get interested naturally. “

What’s powerful for teachers, Brady says, is this makes the whole electoral process real for students, saying, “When they’re talking about the pension process and things like that students can now go exercise their vote, so I think that will make the teaching of civics a lot more exciting.”

He says research has shown some young people don’t vote because they don’t know how and research also shows that those who vote once will vote again.

“There’s a life-long impact with this effort.”

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