Updated: Jul 6
On Friday, May 26th, 2023, Travis County Voter Registration set up their first voter registration table of Grad Week at the Visual and Performing Arts Center on Jordan Blvd in Austin, TX. This was the first day of a week-long event known as Grad Week. Since 2018, Travis County Voter Registration has been registering graduating high school seniors to vote, as they get ready to walk across the stage from high school into adulthood.
While the first day was set up at the Visual and Performing Arts Center, the rest of Grad Week was hosted at Toney Burger Center, a football stadium known for hosting many of the AISD football games, along with many local Austin events.
This has been the second Grad Week hosted since the pandemic, and you could tell! The number of graduating seniors, staff, and teachers was staggering! Each graduating class had well over a hundred students, and all of those students were directed under the bleachers, waiting to walk to their assigned seats. And it was a great opportunity to reach out to students to register them to vote!
On average, we registered around 10-15 students to vote in each event. And with 15 Grad Week Voter registration, that means between 100 - 175 students were registered to vote!
Even better than the number of students we registered to vote were the number of students already registered to vote. In 2022, First Vote, the program dedicated to educating high school seniors about voting, and registering them to vote, really found its stride again, and doubled down on their events. And it shows!
Despite many students being preoccupied and nervous for their upcoming graduation, many of them showed interest not just in registering to vote, but in voting for the future, even if they were not old enough to register yet. The future sure looks bright for voting!
With all of that being said, we would love to give a heartfelt thank you to Austin ISD and the staff of these events. AISD provided tables, and the staff would help us move the tables and our supplies as needed. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful throughout the course of this event.
And of course we would like to provide special thank you to our VDR Leads and VDR Support, which include:
And of course, a great big thank you to our Voter Registration Director, Gretchen Nagy and VDR Outreach and Training Coordinator, Meg Pettersson.
None of this could not have been possible without you, or our dedicated team of VDRs!
And last, but certainly not least, we would also like to give a huge thanks - and congratulations! - to the graduating class of 2023. Thank you for working with us, and registering to vote. We wish you luck as you take the first step into the journey that is your life. And we hope you stay engaged with your community, and with voting. Because your vote matters, and makes a difference!