Charities and public schools working together on election day voting program to encourage youth civic participation
From Clear Ballot:
Clear Ballot and the Kids Voting Minnesota Network have partnered to support more than 100,000 Minnesota K-12 students who will participate in an authentic Election Day voting experience in the Presidential Election on November 8, 2016.
Kids Voting is a nonpartisan, grassroots-driven voter education program committed to creating lifelong voting habits in young people, increasing civic education and awareness, and encouraging greater adult voter turnout. In addition to allowing students to cast a ballot on Election Day, the Kids Voting Minnesota Network provides election-related lessons and resources to help students learn about the right to vote, democracy, civic responsibility, and the importance of participation in the political process.
This year, Boston-based Clear Ballot is providing access to online ballot design and layout software that will allow districts to customize the ballot to closely resemble the adult ballot in their community. Clear Ballot is also providing commercially available high-speed optical Fujitsu scanners at cost to scan the ballots and capture ballot images in a digital database.
“For young people to become effective citizens, they must understand how our political structure is unique and exceptional,” said Amy Anderson, Executive Director of Minnesota Civic Youth who coordinates Kids Voting. “Most parents hope their children grow up to be well-informed, respectful adults who are civically engaged. But children don’t go from preschool to the voting booth without some guidance. The Kids Voting program helps to shape and secure the future of democracy by giving students the knowledge, skills and desire to participate on Election Day now and when they become adults.”
Clear Ballot software tabulates the vote and election results off of the scanned ballot images allowing students to visually review and reflect on the election results in classes. The vote visualization software Clear Ballot provides is unlike anything ever seen in the election industry. Locations that will be using the advanced technology include Saint Paul, Edina, Saint Louis Park, Rochester, Shakopee, Prior Lake-Savage and Duluth.
“We strive to work side-by-side with local jurisdictions on voter outreach and education. This often starts in schools, where students begin to understand the importance of civic engagement and voting,” said Clear Ballot COO, Jordan Esten. “The combination of new technology and youth involvement in elections is the future of voting. Clear Ballot is committed to building deep relationships in local communities through Kids Voting Minnesota as well as many other channels.”
The Kids Voting Minnesota Network is coordinated by Minnesota Civic Youth. To participate in the Kids Voting program this fall, contact Amy Anderson: [email protected] For more information about Clear Ballot election technology contact Hillary Lincoln: [email protected]
About Clear Ballot: Boston-based Clear Ballot was founded in 2009 and is an emerging leader in election technology innovation. ClearVote, Clear Ballot’s modular voting system, harnesses modern software tools and advanced hardware to create a comprehensive voting system designed to bring greater speed, accuracy, and transparency to elections. ClearVote is easy to use and cost-effective, responding directly to the budgetary realities of America’s counties and municipalities. For more information about Clear Ballot, visit: www.clearballot.com.
About Minnesota Civic Youth: Minnesota Civic Youth is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to developing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens. We believe that the best training for young people in their role as citizens and community leaders is through active participation in addressing the issues that affect their lives. We do this by engaging them in authentic civic experiences and activities that respect their viewpoint and celebrate their voice. The Kids Voting Minnesota Network is funded through a grant from the Minnesota Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, and the citizens of Minnesota. For more information about Minnesota Civic Youth and the Kids Voting Minnesota Network, visit: www.mncivicyouth.org.