The Voter Education, Registration, and Action (VERA) campaign of 2020 is a non-partisan effort designed for adult learners and program staff in the New England states. Its goal is to educate adult learners about voting and current election issues, and mobilize them to vote in the 2020 elections. VERA is sponsored by the New England Literacy Resource Center (NELRC) at World Education.
- Use The Change Agent “Call for Articles”: Stand Up and Be Counted to get your students talking and thinking about the census, elections, and other ways of raising your voice and being heard. Deadline: November 1, 2019.
- Teach the history of voting and voting rights. See Lesson Packet 11 here.
- Use current events, issues, and upcoming primaries to teach basic skills.
- Hold a voter register drive so students can vote in the primaries.
- Teach media literacy — how to think critically about what politicians say and how the media reports it.
- Why does the Census matter for democracy? Look here for more materials.
- Integrate recently published Change Agent materials into your teaching.
- Set up program and classroom supports for students to fill out the census form.
- Teach and debate the ballot questions in your state/area.
- Study the issues, the electoral process, (including the electoral college) and the role of money in elections.
- Teach about how democracy requires action and how civics education can go beyond voting. Find more civics resources on the NELRC website.
- Use the internet to learn about the candidates and map their positions on issues.
- Practice formulating questions and writing letters to candidates to learn more about their positions on issues.
- Do another big voter registration push!
- Engage those who can’t vote. Here are some ideas.
- Engage with community organizations working on elections; invite in guest speakers.
- Hold a mock election.
- Report your mock election results here (online form forthcoming), and track how adult learners across New England have voted.
Why should you join VERA?
- Our lives are directly affected by who is elected. The people we elect make the laws we have to live by.
- Voting is one of our most basic civil rights and responsibilities.
- The elections are a teachable moment to study representative democracy and explore civic participation.
What does it involve?
Joining VERA means making a program or class commitment to:
- teach about representative democracy, voting, and topical election issues;
- encourage and help eligible students and staff register to vote, get to the polls, and vote;
- encourage non-eligible students to talk to family members and friends who can vote;
- participate in a regional mock election;
- report (to the best of your ability) how many students registered, voted, and how many voted for the first time. See the final results in a forthcoming reporting form.
What kind of support is provided?
- We have a host of teaching resources, including the new online voter guide based on questions from adult students.
- Fall workshops and webinars are available for your state.
- Numbers we compile will provide state and regional data that you can use to show elected officials that we vote!
Join adult educators from across all six New England states help adult learners exercise their voice and choice inside and outside of the classroom. Recruit your colleagues! With your help, we can build a more participatory democracy!
Email Cynthia Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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