New Voters is a national student-led nonprofit registering first-time high school voters
New Voters is a student-run 501(c)(3) organization working to expand the youth vote by organizing voter registration drives in high schools across America. By assisting first-time voters in running successful drives at their schools, New Voters aims to build a broader culture of civic engagement that starts in high school.
The New Voters Solution
Our goal is to ensure that youth issues (such as protecting the planet, school safety, and equal access to voting/democracy reforms) are prioritized in government through empowering high school student leaders.
We work towards this overarching goal in two main ways:
1) New Voters’ voter registration drive toolkits and training program teach student leaders how to run their first drive. Each New Voters toolkit contains information regarding registration deadlines, voter qualification requirements, and general voting tips, making it easy for anyone to run a drive, regardless of their voter registration experience. Connecting student leaders across New Voters’ national networks, these touchpoints provide a space for young people to share their ideas and experience to build a broader culture of civic engagement in their communities.
2) Through our network of high school student leaders, New Voters aims to make voter pre-registration and online voter registration legislation a reality. In addition to voter registration, New Voters wants to advance legislative reforms that protect and expand voting access, all while engaging young people in the civic advocacy process through civic engagement curriculum, outreach, and organizing. Within our focus states, we aim to work towards equal voting access policies and legislation that will expand youth voting rights. With a concentration on disenfranchised voters, we are working towards policies and education that will further voting rights.
Since its inception in 2017, New Voters has established chapters at 300 high schools across the nation and in 2020, we civically engaged 50,000 high school students throughout the U.S. By 2022 we hope to establish 200 more high school chapters to organize a total of 500 recurring drives across the nation. During the 2020 Georgia runoff elections, we worked with the New Georgia Project to increase youth voter registration. We were recently recognized in the United Nations Youth Solutions Report for our work civically engaging the youth of America. Our growing reach will allow us to continue this work— registering and informing as many youth voters as possible — for years to come.
New Voters' Impact
In addition to registering 50,000 first-time high school voters in the past 4 years, New Voters has created a national network of student leaders eager to share their passion for civic engagement with their local communities.
“After the 2016 election, I saw so many of my young classmates discouraged that their voices were not heard. It felt like a wake-up call and I immediately began brainstorming my idea for New Voters. I wanted to change the narrative surrounding youth voting, and I wanted my peers to show up. Now more than ever, young people are ready to be heard. The main role of New Voters today is to make sure this happens.” - Jahnavi Rao (Founder and President of New Voters)
“Running a NV registration drive was one of the best decisions I've made in high school. Not only did mobilizing my peers to vote teach them about the power of their voices but it also taught me the power of mine. The registration drive got people involved and engaged in the political process which is incredible because this very sense of enthusiasm is what contributes to our great democracy.” - Akansha Joshi (New Voters Social Media Intern and High School Student Leader)
Teens Get the Vaccine
New Voters is excited to announce the relaunch of our Teens Get the Vaccine campaign for the back-to-school season. With the 2021-2022 school year fast approaching, millions of students across the country are returning to school with no online option and an unwillingness to wear masks. It has been shown that, in order to have a safe return to school, students ages 12 and up must get vaccinated. However, many teens are extremely hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine. "Teens Get the Vaccine: Back to School" will reach out to students nationwide that are unsure about getting vaccinated and will provide them with the necessary information and resources to get their vaccine.
This past spring, New Voters launched our Teens Get the Vaccine campaign which encouraged high school students to lead vaccine hesitancy drives in their high schools. The goal of our campaign was to combat vaccine hesitancy and misinformation while inspiring students to get vaccinated. Our campaign included an interview with former CDC director, Dr. Tom Frieden as well as press features in WLRN and The Philadelphia Tribune.