REPORT: The High School Vote, How Texas fails to engage the next generation of voters
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! Plus, registering high schoolers is crucial in engaging students in the political process and increasing voter turnout among young people across the state.
The right to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy and we owe it to our students to help them become active participants in their communities through voting as early in life as possible. Registering students to vote on their high school campuses is a giant step in the right direction. To take advantage of this untapped opportunity, high school principals and community leaders must be informed on the ins-andouts of high school voter registration. This guide is here to, hopefully, do just that.
TCRP’s research found that significant numbers of school administrators are unaware of their duties to register high school students who are or will be 18 years of age or older during that semester. Moreover, many who have heard about this state law do not understand the exact requirements. With the information in this brochure, principals and community leaders can help increase awareness of the law and compliance across the state.
Texas high school principals have a duty to make sure their students have an opportunity to register to vote. To make this happen, Texas law designates principals as a special kind of voter registrar – a high school deputy registrar (HSDR).
To accomplish this, HSDRs must distribute voter registration (“VR”) forms at least twice each academic year to all students who are 18 or who will soon turn 18