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Lesson 2: Voter Registration

Get ready to vote yourself. First, you have to register. (30 minutes)


Look at previous lesson's class results. Create an anonymous survey using Google Forms. Choose “Multiple Choice” and add “Democratic,” “Republican,” and “other.”

Optional: Add a short answer question about which “other” parties to discuss the minor parties. In “Settings” be sure “Collect email addresses” is NOT checked and check “Limit to 1 response.” 

Ask students to complete the survey. Click “Responses” and display the pie chart as students are responding. Students do not have to reveal their party, but some may choose to do so.


What party has the most support among our classmates? Which has the least? Do you agree with ISideWith’s pick for your top party? Why or why not?

Review Key Terms

Major party, minor party (third party), two-party system, primary election
(open and closed primaries), general election, spoiler effect

Whole Class Instruction

What’s the point of voter registration? Why isn’t it automatic when you turn 18? Voting and election laws are created by states, and as long as they don’t violate the US Constitution or Federal Laws such as the Voting Rights Act, states get to decide the methods of voting and to establish security measures to guarantee accurate election results.

Optional Reading: Debunking the Voter-Fraud Myth

Authentic Performance Task/Whole Class Activity: How to Register to Vote!
[All students can participate in this activity, whether they are eligible to vote or not. Students that are eligible (a US citizen that will be 18 by the next Election Day) may click the “Submit” button at the end of the form. Students that are not eligible to vote in the upcoming election may complete a mock form, and not click “Submit”, or the teacher may complete a mock form and display their screen to the class.]
❑ Voter registration can be done on a paper form, or online. In this lesson, we will use the
SEAMAAC/Rock the Vote web application. Use the unique voter registration link or
QR code for your school. This app allows students to sign their forms on a touchscreen
phone or tablet, and collects voluntary contact information to 1) verify that the form has been processed, and 2) to enable SEAMAAC to work with student teams of text/phone-
bankers to provide voters nonpartisan information about voting by mail, polling place locations, and to get-out-the-vote (GOTV). Students will be guided through the process to
their first Election Day.
❑ Ask students to use a touchscreen device go to your school’s voter registration link.
(Eligible students without a touchscreen should use the PA online form. There will be a
few extra steps to complete below.)
• Screen 1 - Students may select their preferred language. Enter an email
address and zip code.
• Screen 2 - Your Basic Info: Title (required by state law), First and Last Name
(exactly as written on PennDOT ID or Social Security Card)
❑ Date of Birth
❑ Check boxes: US citizen and 18 by next election (Students that are not
may check these for practice)
❑ Home Address: (“Unit Number” can be a floor or apartment number.)
❑ City and County are both Philadelphia
❑ Phone and text messages: Optional but recommended to get important
nonpartisan election and voting information.
❑ Political Party: It’s important to let students know they can choose any
party or “none,” but only Democrats and Republicans can vote for
candidates in the primary elections each spring. Primary elections are
very important in Philly (more on that later).
❑ Race: Optional - This data is used better understand which groups are
• Screen 3 - If you have a PennDOT ID or Driver’s License, use the 8-digit number
from that card. Your signature will be taken from PennDOT records.
❑ OR, check “I don’t have a PennDOT Number.” If you’re on a
touchscreen device, click “Provide Signature” and sign inside the box
with a stylus or your finger and click “Done.”
❑ Enter the last-4 digits of your Social Security Number.
• Screen 4 - Review & Confirm: Check to make sure all the info you entered is
❑ Read the “I declare that... “ statement.
❑ Students that are eligible to vote should check “I confirm...” and “Finish
your voter registration...”
❑ Students that are not eligible should NOT check these last boxes.
Congratulations! Send students that registered an “I Registered to Vote” digital sticker they can share on social media!
❑ Students should check their email for confirmation that their registration was submitted.
❑ It takes about 2-weeks for registrations to be processed. Then students should check their
voter registration status here:
Check for Understanding: Ask students what’s next in the process. Possible answers: check
registration status, apply for a mail-in ballot, find your polling place, apply to work at the polls, learn about the candidates, make a sample ballot.

Extension Activities:
❑ Students post an “I Registered To Vote” dance video on Tik Tok or Instagram
#DanceThatJawn, and tag @PAYouthVote, @VoteThatJawn!
❑ Organize a peer-to-peer voter registration drive at your school. Download your school’s
Eligible Student Voter Spreadsheet to identify students and their advisory/homerooms to
reach out to. Connect with PA Youth Vote or a local community partner to help your
students organize their drive.
❑ Apply for your school to receive the PA Governor’s Civic Engagement Award for Voter
❑ Students, US citizens 17 and older, may apply to be paid poll workers on Election Day,
post on social media, and report back to the class.
        ❑ 17 years old by Election Day contact
        ❑ 18 or older by Election Day Sign up here!