The United States of America has specific laws that support the Electoral College and the citizens during an election. One aspect that has been clear throughout the years is that people under 18 cannot participate in active politics. But don’t let this stop your teenager. Although this law has made it impossible for potential candidates to run for office due to their age (Grossberg 25), there are other avenues that young people can participate in American politics.
Learn more about the candidates and the issues.
It is essential to know all about the candidates running for office. Many of their websites provide information about them. This information will help you choose the right candidate. Understanding the issues that matter to your teenager will help them decide which candidate or party to support. You can also participate in peaceful demonstrations, whether local or national.
Talk to your elders.
Talking to others and sharing your opinions and supporting positions is the best way to share information. Young people can easily vote for their preferred candidate and influence the outcome of an election by doing this simple act.
Establish a phone bank.
By calling potential voters, a young voter can reach out to candidates that address the issues most important to them. Phone banks are a way for voters to find out who and why they should support and encourage community members to vote. Google “Phonebanking to (your candidate)” to get started.
Your assistance in registering and getting voters to the polls.
Young people can help ensure that older citizens are registered to vote. They also need to assist them in getting to the polls on time. Your teen should check on the older voters before the election, as many of them send in absentee votes. The older voter must understand who they are voting for.
Volunteer or intern for a campaign.
Volunteering for local political campaigns is one of the best ways teens can be involved in politics. Students also see how the local government operates by interning in government offices (Grossberg 86).
We are raising money for your candidate.
Encourage your teen to participate in activities like a car wash, bake sales, or even a lemonade stand at the basketball court to raise funds for your candidate. Make posters and set a goal for how much money you would like to extend.
Your unique talents can be used to support your candidate.
Young people can combine their talents and acquired skills to ensure the candidate is successful. A high school student in graphic design can help design posters used in campaigns. Students can also create polls at school to determine which candidate is most likely to win. Teens who take multimedia production can make videos that speak to parents and teens. Teens with prominent personalities and strong opinions can use their voices to reach a broader range of voters.
Participate in school politics
Kansas had a loophole that allowed six teenagers under 18 to enter the race for the governorship. However, those under the legal age cannot run for office. In many districts, you can run for office before your 18th birthday. However, there are other opportunities for young people to use their leadership skills. Schools have many clubs, such as Community and Future Problem Solvers and TedEd Clubs. Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Model United Nations, and the Student Government Association (SGA). You can also verify with your school for more information. Students have the option to run for office in their school’s government. One student can be appointed to a school board by a local high school to represent students’ views on decisions and other topics. Ask your principal if your child is interested in being this person. Students can also get involved in school politics and meet local politicians who may be able to mentor them.
Identify the states that permit young politicians.
New York’s state senator and state assembly are open to anyone 18 or older. This is in contrast to other offices that require at least 25 years of age, 30 years, or 35 years for office. Ja’Mal Green, 22, is running for mayor of Chicago. He never imagined he would be running for office. Young politicians have limited opportunities to run for office in America. However, one thing they all have in common is their involvement in politics or founding community organizations early in life.
You can take classes at high school or college that are politically oriented.
Students can get involved in politics by enrolling in classes that expose them to it. The student may have an advantage over his peers by studying political science or law.
Black parents need to be the change they want to see. If you aren’t able to do that, then teach your children. I’d like to see more children trained for politics and judgeships to bring about positive change and equity in their communities. It all starts with us.