How often have you heard people complaining that young people don’t vote? Historically, that may have been true, but in 2020 the nation saw a drastic change to that number with young people turning out at unprecedented levels. Here in Maine, 61% of young people voted. Leading young voters to have the second highest voter turnout in Maine in 2020, only slightly lower than the oldest age group.
Carrying this momentum forward into this year’s election is essential. Millennials and Gen Z now represent the second largest portion of the electorate. Young adults today are very aware of the challenges ahead, concerned about how they’ll contribute to the solutions, and worried about their futures. Their voice and action matter!
Maine Students Vote is working to ensure that youth across the state have the support they need to make their voices heard and are excited to vote in 2022. In 2020 alone we worked with 19 fellows who trained over 250 student organizers, hosted more than 150 events across campuses, and registered over 4,000 students.
We are connected to 23 campuses across the state of Maine, and now through our new partnership with the League of Women Voters of Maine, we can add over 70 high schools to that count. This is an incredible number of young people within our reach — over 60% of the high school students and nearly 90% of college students.
HERE’S WHAT WE’RE DOING:
Youth Voting Network:
Peer-to-Peer engagement is one of the most effective ways to increase youth voter confidence. MSV’s model of Voting Fellows, Campus Voting Captions, and peer-trained volunteers ensures that youth are receiving accurate and relevant voting information. The Youth Voting Network is a space for young people from across Maine to connect, share resource sources, and support each other in further voter engagement amongst their peers. In 2022, our goal is to hire 10 fellows, focusing on funding fellows in more community colleges, rural campuses and other underserved communities.
You can sponsor a Fellow!
$2,000 covers the entire term of organizing and $670 covers a season. This money goes directly to the youth fellows who are the local experts on their campuses.
Summit for Youth Voting:
This day-long event will kick off with a keynote speech from a young Mainer in elected office. There will be workshop space centering around campus and school voting plans and advocating for democracy and voting in Maine, along with planned networking spaces. Fellows will facilitate the event.
Support the Summit!
$250 covers the stipend for a Youth Facilitator, and $100 covers students travel expenses.
Campus & School Support:
MSV provides trainings and workshops tailored to specific campus & school needs. We also share resource guides for youth voter engagement, grant alerts & collaboration, review campus voting plans, and more. Working on campuses with administration to institutionalize voter engagement is a central tenet of MSV’s work.