Vermont Votes for Kids: A project of the Vermont Secretary of State
Curriculum Grades 9-12, Student Handout for Lesson 4:
I Want to Register, Now What?
The process of registering to vote is an important step in becoming an independent person; it's like the political equivalent of obtaining your driver's license. You can operate as an individual with a new influence on the direction of your government. You can help determine the course our government's "political vehicle" takes. Not only can you cast an equal vote for the candidates of your choice, but you can also vote on issues like taxes that affect you and others, help set policy by voting on initiatives and referenda, and petition your government for change by legally signing both initiatives and referenda. The first step is to have your Town Clerk add you to the checklist. Congratulations are in order on considering this step.
Although you may think the process of registering to vote is mysterious, it really isn't and this activity should help make it easy. You can then complete the process if you are old enough, defer until you are able or pass along this information to someone who IS eligible but has not yet registered.
Included throughout this activity are a few questions to help you make sure that key information about the voter registration process came to your attention. You will be teaching yourself. Write your answers on this paper.
Do you have access to the Internet? If "NO", remember that anyone can call or write for information or forms directly to the Secretary of State's office at:
Secretary of State Elections Division
26 Terrace Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-1101
Voter registration forms are called “Applications for Addition to the Checklist.”
Applications for Addition to the Checklist may be viewed online at http://vermont-elections.org/elections1/voter_application.html, or downloaded at http://vermont-elections.org/elections1/2001voterapp. You can also get Applications for Addition to the Checklist from your town clerk. Locate a town clerk near you or call 1-800-439-VOTE.
What is the Elections Hotline phone number? (800) ___-_____ .
Besides contacting the Secretary of State's Elections Division, the public can receive election information by calling 1-800-439-VOTE, namely the State ______ _______.
The Secretary of State's Elections Division is available to help you with registering to vote, learning about the candidates, and other elections-related services. Contacting them could not be easier since you have the option to use: a) mail, b) fax, c) _____, or d) _____.
You may register to vote if you will become 18 years old before hte next election. Can you then vote if you turn 18 on or before the day of the election? YES / NO ____
Will you have to list what political party you like, or belong to, in order to register to vote? YES/NO ____
Other than age and the Voter's Oath, what two legal conditions must you meet before you can register to vote?
A"legal resident" of Vermont for voter registration purposes, is a person who is _________________.
To safeguard the election process, we want only voters that legally qualify. According to the warning on the Application, there is a penalty if you:
(You've no doubt noticed that certain personal information is requested but the reasons may not be apparent. Notice that the Application asks for the E911 address or physical location where you are officially a resident. This is to provide the Town Clerk with enough information to determine whether you live in the town where you are registering, and in some communities the clerk must decide what voting district you live in.)
The Application asks for your birth date. This is so election officials can verify that you have attained the required age of ______ by the day of the election.
The reason your address of residence is requested is to _________________ and in some communities to determine __________________.
(Why not only list your mailing address? Your physical address determines the town and district you live in, which determines which candidates and questions are listed on your ballot. The mailing address ensures that you receive any voter materials you may need.)
Many young adults think they should not register to vote if they have upcoming plans of moving from their residential address. If you are one of those young adults, think again! If you move from your home to begin a job in a new location with the intent of returning, or if you are away at school, in the military, or traveling, you will not lose residency. You simply need to contact your Town Clerk and let them know where to send your absentee ballot.
You can let your Town Clerk know that you want to receive an early voter absentee ballot. You may request this ballot at any time up until __________________________.
The Application for Addition to the Checklist you fill out takes time to process at the Town Clerk's office. To ensure your name is on the checklist on election day, your Application must be received by the Town Clerk _____________________.
What if you move to a new town in Vermont?*
* If you move for college or other temporary purpose, but consider Vermont your residential state, you can maintain your current voter registration by asking your Town Clerk to have your ballot sent to your temporary out-of-area address.
What if you change your name? You should ______________________.
From what you can see on the Secretary of State's web site, which is accurate, statement A or B?
You cannot request a an early or absentee ballot on election day, but you can request one as early as ____ days prior to the election.
To request an absentee ballot, contact which of these, A or B? ______
One-time absentee ballot requests may be made in person or by which of these methods? _____
B) In person,
D) All three.
For your absentee ballot to be counted, it must be received by the Town Clerk ____ _____ .
Can a voter who has received an early voter absentee ballot can change his or her mind and vote at the polls on Election Day? Yes/No
Go to http://vermont-elections.org/elections1/town_clerks_guide.html. Find the address for your Town Clerk's office. Does your county have an email address listed? YES/NO _____ If yes, what is it?___________
To see a copy of the voter checklist, you must contact _____ _____.
Now you see that if you are qualified, you can register to vote, and vote by absentee ballot from anywhere in the world. The answers please! How did you do? Your teacher will have the answers if you need them.
20-22 correct: Let Freedom Ring - VOTE!
17-19 correct: Key Into Freedom - VOTE!
14-16 correct: An Election Connection
00-13 correct: Growing Into Voting
Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz: http://www.vermontvotesforkids.com