AFT Resolution

IN SUPPORT OF REGISTERING ELIGIBLE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO VOTE

WHEREAS, about 50.7 million students attend public schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics; and

WHEREAS, voting in local, state and federal elections is a core right, an obligation of citizenship and a primary vehicle to ensure the United States remains a government by and for the people; and

WHEREAS, in 1971, the 26th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was adopted, lowering the voting age to 18; and

WHEREAS, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, 16.9 million youth voters became eligible in 2016 to vote in their first presidential election; and

WHEREAS, voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election dipped to its lowest point in two decades with only about 55 percent of voting-age citizens participating; and

WHEREAS, data from Pew Research Center indicates that people between the ages of 18 and 35 are now as large a political force as the baby-boom generation, comprising more than 31 percent of the overall electorate; and

WHEREAS, the lack of participation in the electoral process deprives individuals and communities of agency, voice and representation; and

WHEREAS, as a leader in the struggle for educational justice and labor rights, the American Federation of Teachers has the responsibility to educate and empower working people, students and citizens:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will embark on a voter registration drive for eligible high school students and others eligible to vote; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will seek to work with our community and civil rights partners to increase voter education, registration and participation; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will educate, assist and empower those who, though ineligible to vote, need to understand their individual rights as well as the roles and responsibilities of active citizen engagement.

 

(2018)

Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.