By Scott Warren, CEO
We knew the presidential election would probably not be decided on election night. Democracy is about ensuring that every individual has the opportunity to ensure their voice is heard. And so in the days and weeks ahead, Generation Citizen will push, as hard as we can, to ensure all votes are counted and will advocate for a free and fair outcome no matter who is elected.
We believe firmly in the institutions that guide our democracy and we must bring attention to our current president prematurely declaring an electoral win ahead of all votes being counted in states across the country. We have a responsibility to ensure every vote cast in this election is counted both for our presidential election and state and local elections. We can not erode the public’s trust in democracy. Especially as we sit at the intersection of educating and empowering the next generation of voters to be active citizens. Every vote must be counted. Period.
We cannot teach our young people that democracy works if our elections are not fair and just. We have seen reports that young people have turned out to vote in this election in unprecedented numbers. Our young people are excited, engaged, and frustrated by the division they are seeing in our politics. They stepped up to counter the narrative that they are disengaged. They want to be active participants in shaping our future and they are committed to change. We would do well to follow their lead and listen to them.
Most importantly, we know that no matter the outcome of this election it has caused an immense amount of anxiety for us all, and educators and students perhaps most of all. Especially in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic. Generation Citizen has created and aggregated resources for educators to talk about the election with students. This is a challenging time for so many reasons- between virtual learning and a highly partisan election cycle that may not have clear results for some time. Our post election guide provides ideas on how students can reflect and be informed in this pivotal moment in our democracy. Please let us know if there are additional resources that would be helpful.
Additionally, tonight, at 7PM EST, our Senior Director of Programming and Impact, Darcy Richie, will join other civics education experts to talk about how to engage students in this unique moment in our democracy.
Right now, we know that young people have broken records in turnout across the country. We know that we have all been a part of helping to ensure our students have been well informed and part of the political process. As we wade into days and possibly weeks of misinformation, and actions to suppress votes we know it will be frustrating. Honestly, many of us are frustrated and tired as well. In recent years we have all seen a growing division in our country and a consistently degraded and devalued democratic process. But we need to urge patience. This is an unprecedented election during a global pandemic. No matter the outcome of this election, we must ensure all votes are counted.
It is hard to be patient but we must be. We are here in support of our students and educators. The future of our democracy may depend on what happens in the next few days.
We have so much work to do to rebuild trust in our institutions and our democracy. We know we must make civics education a priority. And we know we need a lot more young people at the table.
Democracy is hard work.
We stand here with you in our commitment to ensuring every vote is counted and every voice is heard.