Boosting Voter Participation with New Online Tools and Contest
For Immediate Release:
Sept. 17, 2020
COLUMBUS – With the help of government teachers, new online tools and contest for the best Podcast, a new non-partisan coalition aims to boost voter participation by registering high school students and giving them the resources needed to become informed voters.
“Young people historically have been the least likely to vote,’’ said Jen Miller, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio. “The 2018 midterms saw about 31 percent of eligible 18- to 29-year-olds vote. Let’s break that record.’’
High schools already received packets that include voter registration forms and absentee ballot applications, said Van Vert teacher Theresa Mengerink, who heads the Ohio Council for the Social Studies.
“I tell my students that the government influences so much of our lives, so it’s imperative to study how our government is set up and learn how to be active participants in our government system,’’ she said. “This coalition has new tools and new incentives to inspire new voters.’’
Coalition partner Megan Wood, director of the Cultural Resources Division of the Ohio History Connection, said the new online tools are timely.
“The pandemic has posed new challenges for teachers and students,’’ Wood said. “With the presidential race dominating the news, teachers and students can access these new online tools to foster a better understanding of citizenship and government.’’
For added inspiration, the coalition is sponsoring The Podcast Challenge, a contest for high school and college students to explore one of 12 government-related topics in a podcast format.
The deadline for submissions in Oct. 19 and all podcasts must 5 minutes or less. The top entry will receive $500, and the second- and third-place winners will receive $250 each. Ten additional winners will be selected – one from each category listed in the rules – and all winning submissions will be featured on the iHeartRadio podcasting platform.
For a complete list of the rules, including the categories for podcast topics, please visit here: Link
The online tools and competition are the latest in a series of events intended to boost voter participation, especially among young voters. Coalition members include the League of Women Voters of Ohio, WOSU, SOITA, CET/PBS, iHeartRadio, Vote Responsibly, The Ohio History Connection, Can’t Stop Columbus, the Ohio Council for Social Studies, EduTechnologic, Educational Service Centers of Ohio and Common Cause Ohio.