Future Voter Program in WA’s public schools

Future Voter Program in WA’s public schools

Parents will likely be hyper-aware this year as their high school students are engaging in “youth voter registration.” This is legal and was passed through the Washington legislature in 2018 in HB 1513 in an effort to address low youth voter turnout and encourage participation of youth in the election process.

“HB 1513 established the opportunity for students to register to vote when they obtain their driver’s license from the Department of Licensing (DOL). In addition, it established the Future Voter Program (#FutureVoter), to be administered by the Secretary of State.
This program allows 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote through the Secretary of State’s online portal or by paper ballot. On their 18th birthday, young people who pre-registered are then automatically registered to vote in the State of Washington. In addition, recent legislation (effective January 1, 2022), provides 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the November General Election the opportunity to vote in the August Primary.”

HB 1513 also requires public schools to provide instructional time to teach about elections and give students an opportunity to register to vote. From the Final Bill Report:

The Superintendent, in consultation with the Secretary, must update and distribute youth voter registration materials by December 1 each year and electronically notify high school principals and secondary social studies and history teachers that the materials are available. The Superintendent must consult with the Secretary to provide registration methods that enable the electronic collection of information on the number of students who register at the registration event, with the goal of achieving at least 50,000 new voter registrations for 17 and 18 year olds annually. Beginning on March 1, 2020, the Superintendent must report on yearly progress toward this goal, and provide recommendations for increasing youth voter registration, to the Governor and Legislature.

Screenshot 2024 03 13 140021

Additionally, the legislation requires Washington public schools to participate in Temperance and Good Citizenship Day (TAGCD) every January 16th. “On this day, Washington Social Studies teachers who teach high school seniors must provide instructional time for students to register to vote. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), in consultation with the Office of the Secretary of State (OSOS), prepares and publishes materials for teachers to support the teaching of elections and voting in Washington.” https://ospi.k12.wa.us/sites/default/files/2023-10/04-23-update-temperance-good-citizenship-day-voter-registration.pdf

According to CIRCLE, Center for Information and Research for Civic Learning and Engagement, Washington and California stand alone as the only states to increase voter turnout in 18–19-yearolds in the 2020 election.

In considering the table below from the WA Secretary of State, it seems likely that this #FutureVoter effort will continue to advance in future sessions. A question parents and citizens should be asking themselves is: “Are radical left educators the people we want influencing our future voters?”

Screenshot 2024 03 13 140957

Please consider contributing to Conservative Ladies by making a donation or upgrading to a paid subscription/membership to support our work to defend and advance conservative policy in Washington and beyond. Thank you!

Conservative Ladies of Washington

Subscribe to our emails

You have Successfully Subscribed!