Ballot Box and Beyond is Defend Our Future’s campaign to expand civic engagement among young people. Millennials and Gen Z comprise the largest percentage of eligible voters, but they are often seen as the least civically engaged. Young people must know how to engage with all levels of government to advocate for the future they want – and that goes beyond election years.
Get Out the Vote
This midterm election showed again how vital voter turnout is – especially for young people. In this election, an estimated 27% of eligible voters ages 18-29 turned out to vote – that is a 30-year high for midterm elections! Young people made their voices heard in 2022 – and it showed up and down the ballot.
Young people often face high barriers to voting, and Defend Our Future has resources and programming to help break down those barriers. Defend Our Future chapters host GOTV and voter education events nationwide, ensuring that young people everywhere are aware of voting methods and deadlines.
Defend Our Future also encourages young people to exercise their rights as constituents. By securing office visits with local, state and congressional offices, Defend Our Future allows young people to share their stories, needs and vision for the future with those elected to represent them.
Defend Our Future also looks to engage lawmakers outside of sit-down meetings. Our team and our Ambassadors plan events to get lawmakers into the communities they represent. We are giving community members a chance to ask questions and lawmakers an opportunity to learn from the lived experiences of their constituents.
Federal agencies provide even more avenues for civic engagement! Defend Our Future guides passionate young people through the rulemaking process, teaching them how to submit comments and testify at hearings.
Throughout the year we have petition collections and workshops aimed at promoting this often-overlooked way to engage directly with decisionmakers.