Youth Voter Challenge

Getting Started

Overview & Phases
Become a Champion
Challenge Resources
Leadership Team
Voter Registration Awards
Register to Vote


Challenge Goals

Youth Voter Champions 
4% of National Goal

Poll Worker Recruits
5% of National Goal

States Represented
15 States

High Schools
18 High Schools


Creating Engaged Youth Voters

Since the voting age was lowered to 18 in 1971, one trend has remained constant across all elections: our youngest voters (ages 18-25) have the lowest turnout of all age groups.

Years of research (see data from CIRCLE at Tuft’s University) reveal a number of reasons why young voters aren’t engaging at higher levels. The potential solutions are just as numerous, each addressing a different obstacle along the youth voter pipeline.

That’s where the Y comes in. Alongside a coalition of partners, we are making a nationwide Youth Voter Challenge – to transform the culture around youth voting in our schools and communities, to ensure the highest possible rates of youth voter registration/turnout, and to actively engage youth voters as changemakers at all levels of government.


Join the Challenge

Our Youth Voter Challenge asks YMCA participants, advisors/volunteers, and staff – and their respective schools and YMCAs – to take part in a 4-phase effort transforming youth voter participation in their communities.

Please sign-up to become a Youth Voter Champion below, and ask your peers/colleagues to do the same. We encourage schools and Ys to have as many participants join the challenge as possible!

Become a Youth Voter Champion

Once an individual from your school or Y has signed-up for the challenge, your school or Y will be added to our National Dashboard. As additional members sign-up, we’ll continue adding them to your total # of champions.


Challenge Phases

By signing-up to become a Youth Voter Champion, you’ll agree to support your school/delegation through each phase of our challenge:

Phase 1 | Youth Voting Advocacy

  • Email a letter to your state’s Chief Elections Official advocating for the creation of a youth voter registration award (some states already have one!), along with additional recommendations to support youth voter inclusion.
  • Email a letter to your School Principal asking them to incorporate voter registration and youth voter inclusion as part of their annual operating plans.

Phase 2 | Youth Poll Worker Pledge

  • Help the Y, and our partners at Power the Polls, recruit a new generation of youth poll workers from your families, schools, YMCAs, and communities.
  • Endorse and advocate for “Youth at the Booth” – making 16 the universal age for serving as a poll worker.

Phase 3 | Mobilization & Registration

  • Youth Voter Champions will receive the our Mobilization & Registration Guide, including resources and information from our partners at  The Civics Center, to help mobilize your voter registration efforts.
  • Our organizers will work with you to begin mobilizing your delegations and schools to conduct voter registration online (and, if safe, in-person).

Phase 4 | Get Out the Vote (GOTV)

  • To ensure youth voter turnout, we’ll launch GOTV efforts with National Voter Education Week (Oct. 5-9) with youth vote partners across the country.
  • On Saturday, Oct. 24th, we’ll celebrate Vote Early Day to encourage safe early voting by mail or in-person.
  • Our challenge culminates with our GOTV Week of Action from Sunday, Oct. 25th until Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3rd.


Additional Resources & Information

In addition to the organizations and resources already mentioned, we have also organized an additional list of links and materials to help support your youth voter outreach efforts: