Public high schools throughout Washington will observe Temperance and Good Citizenship Day Friday, January 13.
Now in its 100th year, Temperance and Good Citizenship Day is unique to Washington and is one of several civic observances for which state law provides specific instructions for schools. Every January, Washington students learn about becoming engaged and productive citizens. On Temperance and Good Citizenship Day, high-school seniors can register to vote during their social studies classes, either with a printed voter-registration form or via VoteWA.gov, Washington’s online voter portal.
The Office of the Secretary of State (OSOS) offers educators several online resources including a “Teaching Elections in Washington State” curriculum guide, Classroom Guide to Registering Voters, printable voter-registration forms, and more. The OSOS partnered with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to add Temperance and Good Citizenship Day to the Future Voter program. Future Voter allows 16- and 17-year-olds to sign up as future voters and be automatically registered to vote when they become eligible.
Also, recent legislation allows 17-year-olds who turn 18 between the August Primary Election and the November General Election to vote in the primary. For more information, voters are encouraged to visit the Elections page on the Secretary of State’s website or contact their local elections office.
“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. “Our democracy is in the hands of our future voters, and as a former social studies teacher, I know their engagement in civic life begins with understanding that their vote matters.”
“Registering to vote early in life is the first step toward being civically engaged and becoming a lifelong voter,” said Secretary of State Steve Hobbs. “Temperance and Good Citizenship Day is an opportunity to remind our young citizens that they have an indispensable voice in shaping the future of our state, our nation, and our world.”
Temperance and Good Citizenship Day was enacted by the state Legislature in 1923.