CIRCLE blog posts
To enhance and broaden the discussions around the report of our Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge, we have developed a FREE, five-week, open online seminar that will extend research and recommendations from the report.
This is the seventh in a series of blog posts by CIRCLE, which evaluated several initiatives funded by the Democracy Fund to inform and engage voters during the 2012 election. These posts discuss issues of general interest that emerged from specific evaluations.) During the 2012 campaign season, AmericaSpeaks and Face the Facts USA worked together Read More >
There are deep inequalities in youth civic knowledge and participation across socioeconomic levels that must be addressed to strengthen our democracy, and there is a vital role for universities and other institutions of higher education, not only in promoting youth engagement, but also closing this gap.
One of the recommendations outlined in the report from our Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge, is to experiment with lowering the voting age to 17 in municipal or state elections. Recently, the city of Takoma Park, Maryland, made just such a change to their voting regulations; and, last week, its 16 and 17-year-old residents became the first in the nation to cast a municipal ballot on Election Day.
Improving civic education and increasing youth engagement in the United States requires work at every level from all members of society. Civic leaders—elected officials, policy makers, heads of influential organizations, and others—are in a unique position to promote and champion vital, substantive improvements.