March 7, 2016 Press Release
2221 S Clark St, Arlington, VA 22202
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On March 1, 2016, 17 and 18 year-olds across the state of Virginia gathered at the polls with parents, friends, and individually to cast a ballot in their first Primary Election. Inspire Virginia, along with other nonprofits and government agencies across the state, worked together to collectively help register 14,186 new 17 year-old voters in the state.
In our short existence since August 2016, Inspire Virginia has partnered with 20 high schools to register 1,494 new voters. Our unique peer-to-peer registration model empowers young people to take an active role in democracy as they register themselves, and then their peers, to vote and show up to the polls.
In preparation for the March 1 Election Day, Inspire Virginia Staff and Student Leaders hit the phone booths to reach out to these newly registered voters to remind them about Election Day and give them information about the electoral process. In these phone banking sessions, Inspired Leaders spoke with 199 students, 91 percent of whom said they would be casting a ballot on March 1st.
Virginia is unique in its voting laws, allowing 17 year-olds to vote in Primary Elections if they will be 18 by the date of the General Election. Inspire Virginia is working to partner with high schools and elected officials to ensure that this fundamental right becomes widely known and practiced across the Commonwealth.
Inspire Virginia is now looking to grow. We are seeking passionate and committed 2016-2017 high school seniors who will strive to help their peers get civically involved. We are also excited to partner with more teachers and school administrators who see the benefit of allowing students to take ownership of registering their peers.
For more information about Inspire Virginia, please visit inspireus-va.org or call Katherine Westmoreland at (276)365-VOTE.
We also invite educators and community leaders to nominate a student for the Inspire program at http://www.inspireus-va.org/nomination_form.