A partner of Nonprofit VOTE, Girls Inc. is a national affiliate-based organization “inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.”
In 2012, 56 local Girls Inc. affiliates around the country participated in She Votes, enabling 4,424 girls to cast ballots in a mock election. Through She Votes, girls get hands-on experience with voting, and learn about voter registration, the importance of women in politics, who represents them at various levels of office, and how to run campaigns. In addition to the mock election, many affiliates hosted speakers and developed additional programming:
- In Sarasota, FL, girls ran for Mayor, Vice Mayor, Historian, Secretary, and Treasurer, complete with speeches. In order to strengthen girls’ understanding of office, these newly elected officials will serve one-year terms and then face reelection. For this project, Girls Inc. of Sarasota partnered with the local county supervisor of elections and a local judge, who swore the girls into office.
- Girls Inc. of Kingsport, TN had two girls “stand-in” as candidates for a presidential debate, fielding questions from girls in the audience.
- U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Gubernatorial candidate Maggie Hassan (D-NH) also spoke to Girls Inc. affiliates last fall, along with an array of county clerks, mayors, and other officials and candidates.
- Girls Inc. of Southwestern Connecticut met the mayor and toured City Hall.
In 2012, Girls Inc. also added a parent outreach component to She Votes. Staff created a “take-home card” that informs parents about the program and has a space for girls to track their age during each election until they finally turn 18 and are eligible to vote in a real election. The take-home card also reminds parents to be good civic role models by voting themselves and taking their daughter with them to the polls.
Read the report about Girls Inc. She Votes 2012 to learn more.
Girls Inc. She Votes is a nonpartisan educational initiative that gives girls the skills and confidence to envision themselves as both future voters and future candidates. Started in 2004, this biennial project helps girls understand the American political system and prepares them for a life as engaged citizens.