OLYMPIA — This academic year, Temperance and Good Citizenship Day is Friday, Jan. 15, and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Office of the Secretary of State are helping schools register the next generation of voters.
One of several Washington state civic observances, Temperance and Good Citizenship Day was enacted by the state legislature in 1923 to promote civic education. Every January, Washington students learn about the importance of registering to vote and ways to become engaged, productive citizens. High-school seniors have the opportunity to register to vote during their social studies classes.
In 2019, OSPI and the Office of the Secretary of State added the Future Voter program to Temperance and Good Citizenship Day. The program, which is administered by the Secretary of State’s Office, allows 16- and 17-year-olds to sign up as future voters and be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18.
“One of the goals of our K-12 education system is to prepare our students for a lifetime of civic engagement,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. “We are thankful for the opportunity to help empower the next generation of voters, civil servants, and community leaders.”
The Office of the Secretary of State offers several online resources for educators. These include a “Teaching Elections in Washington State” curriculum guide, Classroom Guide to Registering Voters, a Future Voter Program FAQ, access to OSPI resources and videos, and much more.
“Registering to vote early in life is the first step toward being civically engaged and becoming a lifelong voter,” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman. “Temperance and Good Citizenship Day reminds our young citizens that they have an indispensable voice in shaping the future of our state, our nation, and our world.”