Vote.net was conceived, built and launched in 2017 by Eric Anderson and Max Anderson as a student effort to engage fellow high school students and young adults in the political process. The site was launched simultaneously with the creation of a weekly student forum at Hunter College High School to openly discuss and debate the political topics of the day. The site and forum have created a constructive outlet for the expression of differing political viewpoints and a practical approach to influencing the political process through student activism. In addition to allowing students to participate in both online and offline forums, the founders created a partnership with 'Rock the Vote' to promote voter registration among young voters through a joint online voter registration app.
In a time when adult voters have become more polarized and prone to adopt into an 'us versus them' political perspective, younger voters are at much greater risk of detaching. In fact, it is the youngest generations that will have the most responsibility to resolve such looming problems as global warming, healthcare reform, social security, preparedness for future pandemics and other potentially catastrophic events. Students and young adults must, and do, become advocates for social change when given the opportunity, and when the discourse is not overwhelmed by the opinions, thoughtful or otherwise, of the adults around them.
Vote.net 's goal has always been to enable thoughtful discussion in a nurturing and blameless environment.
In order to stoke a new wave of interest and political activism among students, we started with one high school and then, through the power of the internet, we are rapidly growing Vote.net's reach, influence and positive impact on the future. Vote.net's intent is to serve as a major catalyst in giving voice to young people around the nation. In the past several years, despite significant recent hurdles posed by the pandemic, we have:
Developed and launched a new community-driven, non-partisan website targeting prospective millennial voters;
Created and recevied charter approval for a school-based organization at Hunter College High School focused on open political discussion on today's news topics;
Launched a successful Gofundme campaign, exceeding our goals by 20%;
Built our newsletter registration to over 108,000 subscribers;
Created a social media campaign garnering over 4,000 twitter followers;
Assembled team of over 15 content contributors;
Partnered with 'Rock the Vote' to register new voters;
Executed voter registration drives in New York City targeting eligible students;
Designed an innovative mobile application to match voters with candidates (planned launch October 2020); and
Sponsored several important and timely community outreach programs, including one to improve discussions between inner city minority youth and the NYPD cadets.
We have exceeded all our quantititave goals to date, but our work is just beginning. Now more than ever, young Americans need the ability to thoughtfully and respectfully debate substantive issues that will be our collective responsibility to solve in the decades to come. Vote.net serves this community of passionate student voters (or soon-to-be voters) to enable them to begin to better understand the news, the issues and the matters that are of greatest long-term importance. Vote.net has brought together a group of ethnically, geographically, and religiouly diverse students to voice their opnions and to contribute to a common cause - to shape our future for the better.
Vote.net has been successful in its first years in helping these students to develop a sense of what is important outside of their day-to-day lives, to enhance a sense of community, and to instill the belief that what happens in the headlines matters to our families and our country and that we have the ability to influence our path.
We will continue to fight apathy and indifference among young adults and do everything possible to encourage students to act by voting, both in this critical presidential election as well as in subsequent midterm and future elections. No matter your political affiliation and state of residence, it is our privilege as Americans to be able to vote, and we will continue to encourage our peers, through our informative, fun and actionable content and discussions, to ultimately make a difference and vote.