Innovations in Nonpartisan Youth Voter Registration

Posted by on December 16, 2005

The 2004 elections saw the largest increase of young voters in history. While voter turnout overall increased by 4 percentage points, the turnout of young voters, aged 18 to 29, increased by 9 percentage points. This record turnout caught the eye of journalists and media pundits, as well as campaign professionals, foundations and others eager to attract new voters to the polls.

This increase in turnout represented a break in the declining youth turnout rate, a problem that has threatened our democracy for over thirty years. With a newly engaged population of young people we have an opportunity to reenergize civic life in America.

To build on the success of 2004, promote new and creative approaches to get young people to register to vote, and keep the youth vote in the spotlight in 2006, The George Washington University?s Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) announces a nonpartisan national competition to identify and support innovative and replicable strategies for registering young people ages 18 to 29. Funding for this competition is provided through a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

GSPM invites proposals from nonpartisan 501(c)3 organizations interested in testing voter registration efforts with young voters. A bipartisan selection committee made up of members of GSPM?s advisory committee will choose a group of eight to ten winners working with different subsets of the youth population and employing diverse, but strictly nonpartisan, registration methods. Applicants are eligible for funds of $50,000 up to $250,000 to implement their projects in the 2006 election cycle.

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