Ambassador, Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida
When Madeleine G. discovered Florida teens can pre-register to vote at age 16, she was determined to engage her fellow classmates in civic awareness for her Gold Award project.
“It is so important that people register and exercise their right to vote, I was very surprised to find that young people, including myself, weren’t being registered to vote and didn’t know that in Florida they could pre-register as soon as they turn 16.This is a big gap in information,” explained Madeleine.
When she received her voter card at age 18 and told her friends about it, she discovered none of them knew they could pre-register to vote. “I knew I could do something about this,” she said.
Madeleine’s Gold Award Project
After researching how to spread awareness of voter pre-registration, Madeleine kicked her plan into gear. Her campaign included getting permission from the principal at her school and organizing a team of five teachers to motivate and pre-register 50 students.
With the goal of reaching 1,000 people, Madeline and her team set up a booth and conducted a voter outreach program at GSTF’s annual G.I.R.L. Fest. But she didn’t stop there.
“I expanded my outreach and wrote a letter to the editor of The Miami Herald urging people to register to vote.”
Madeleine attended events like Women's Equality Day to meet with women leaders and even met with Christina White, the Miami Date County Supervisor of Elections.
Wanting to further spread her message, Madeleine conducted voter outreach at community events sponsored by her Girl Scout troop. She also led a Civics Leadership workshop to lead Girl Scouts to earn the Inside Government Badge.
At her high school, students began showing more interest in pre-registering to vote.
“I could see I was making a difference as several students reported back to me when they turned 18 and received their voter registration card in the mail, and others asked for more forms to register their parents and family members at home,” Madeleine said.
Voting for Change
Madeleine got to vote for the first time in the Miami Beach municipal elections in November 2019 and continues to inspire others to pre-register and exercise their right to vote.
Her final goal: “I want to see students systematically registered to vote before high school graduation.”