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Texas has a unique and little-known state law that requires high schools to register eligible students to vote twice a year. As a matter of course per the law, nearly 340,000 young Texans should be given the opportunity to register to vote in their senior year of high school. However, instead of preparing them for a lifetime of civic participation, the state shirks its responsibility by failing to comply with the law.
Working with state and national allies, TCRP is spearheading a multi-pronged strategy to turn the ship around. TCRP works with state partners to educate parents, teachers, civic organizations, and school administrators about the law and empower them to register their students to vote.
In September of 2017, TCRP and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law published a groundbreaking report, detailing the startling statistic that only six percent of schools across the state requested voter registration forms from the Secretary of State in the semester leading up to the 2016 presidential election. Coupled with further grassroots advocacy, TCRP shifted the conversation around the issue and brought public accountability to the Secretary of State’s office.
Our current campaign targets Texas’ largest urban school districts in an effort to significantly improve compliance with the law and create a culture of civic participation in the state’s high schools.
After years of advocacy from TCRP and other groups, the Secretary of State’s office took action to send a notice about the high school voter registration law to Texas’ high schools. Download here
While the Secretary took steps to improve communication with high schools about the law’s requirements, the vast majority of the State’s high schools nevertheless failed to comply with the law. Download here
The coalition alerts the Secretary that the State of Texas is still not fulfilling its continuing obligation to enforce state law related to high school voter registration. Download here
Twice a year, high school principals must offer students the chance to register to vote, if they are 18 or will turn 18 that school year. It’s a state law! This guide will teach you how to ensure your local high school is engaging students in the political process. Read more
This report reviews how Texas’s high school registration law works and details our 2016 assessment of compliance with the law. The report also outlines the rationale for scrapping the request process and, because that step alone would be insufficient in bringing about full compliance, suggests other concrete and common sense reforms. Read more