First Regular Session

Sixty-first General Assembly

LLS NO. R97@0678.01 JY



also SENATOR Wells.



WHEREAS, Voter turnout has been declining in this country for the last several decades, especially among the youngest voters, where nationwide, in 1992, only 55% of eligible voters and only 42.8% of eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 24 actually voted; and

WHEREAS, "Kids Voting USA" ("Kids Voting") is a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing civic participation, both now and in the future, and providing students in kindergarten through the twelfth grade with the opportunity to:

(1)  Learn about voting and electoral processes through a voluntary curriculum in school;

(2)  Learn about voter registration by registering to vote in a similar manner as an adult registers to vote in Colorado; and

(3)  Actually cast ballots in a mock election at or near an official polling site on election day; and

WHEREAS, The goals of Kids Voting are to educate school students about the rights and responsibilities of voting, to create lifelong voters of today's youth, and to increase adult voter turnout; and

WHEREAS, The Kids Voting curriculum includes 6 to 10 hours of classroom instruction on the essentials of voting and homework assignments involving information gathering and discussion with family members of current events, political issues, and candidates; and

WHEREAS, Student involvement with Kids Voting has also activated parental involvement and motivation with political issues and the electoral process as entire families are provided with the opportunity to participate in political discussions; and

WHEREAS, Since 1988, post election research has shown that adult voter turnout in communities with Kids Voting has increased by about 3%, which is approximately 80,000 people; and

WHEREAS, Kids Voting provides school students with the opportunity to "vote" alongside adults on the same candidates and issues, using the same or similar polling places, according to where they live, with their own voting booths, ballots, pencils, and volunteer poll workers; and

WHEREAS, During the 1996 general election, more than 170,000 students in 20 Colorado school districts in 8 communities, including Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver (Montbello), Grand Junction, Greeley, Longmont, and Springfield, and 5 million students in 40 states participated in Kids Voting; and

WHEREAS, During the 1996 general election, over 4,000 people volunteered for Kids Voting in Colorado, whose roles were to ensure that the students' first voting experience was fun and educational; and

WHEREAS, The future plan for Kids Voting in Colorado includes being active in local elections in 1997 and in every community in Colorado by the year 2000 and involving 450,000 students in projects in various cities and counties in Colorado in 1998; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives of the Sixty­first General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the Senate concurring herein:

That we, the members of the Colorado General Assembly, hereby support the continuation of Kids Voting in Colorado and recognize that early education in the election process through the Kids Voting program provides the following benefits to the citizens of Colorado:

(1)  Assists school students in Colorado in understanding the importance of voting;

(2)  Increases students' chances of voter participation as adults;

(3)  Increases adult voter turnout and adult participation in the electoral process; and

(4)  Creates a more informed electorate in Colorado.