Adopted by the Board of Managers August 2020

PTA was founded in 1897 to advocate for children and families. At the 1937 convention of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, newly elected national President, Frances S. Pettengill, declared that “as citizens in a democracy, our chief function is to prepare the oncoming generation to live successfully in a democracy.”

California State PTA believes an important part of that preparation is fostering voting habits early in life and cultivating a habit of lifelong voting. Research supports this approach and has long shown that lifelong voting habits are formed in childhood and adolescence through parent/adult modeling and Civic Education.

California State PTA also believes that our constitutional right to vote is the foundation of American democracy and our representative form of government.  Public policy issues that we care about are determined by our elected officials and our votes. Therefore, the right to vote, cast an informed vote and have that vote counted, whether it be for candidates or ballot measures, are fundamental to the work we do as PTA and should be protected.

California State PTA supports:

  • Efforts, including legislation, to expand safe, secure, equitable and accessible options for all eligible Californians to have the opportunity to register and vote.
  • Efforts to prevent disenfranchisement of citizens eligible to register and vote, including, but not limited to, communities of color, LGBTQ+ community, youth, language minorities, people with disabilities, people with low income, infrequent voters, and those who are unhoused, housing insecure or geographically mobile.
  • Efforts to prevent the manipulation of voting boundaries or an electoral constituency so as to favor one party or class, such as partisan gerrymandering. We believe voters should choose their elected representatives; elected representatives or their designees should not choose their voters.
  • Efforts, including legislation and working in partnership with community organizations, to teach students the importance of voting in our democracy and to encourage participation in student voter registration drives.
  • Providing voters with timely options for casting their vote, and those options must include both Vote-by-Mail ballots, with multiple secure methods of return, and in-person voting.
  • Allocating resources to educate voters and the public about any changes to voting procedures, including voter registration, and supporting every effort to ensure that equity is central during implementation of those changes.
  • Providing voters with relevant, accurate and easy-to-understand information about elections, their ballot, election issues, candidates and any ballot measures to enable them to cast informed votes.
  • Prioritizing the health and safety of both voters and poll workers and ensuring adequate staff capacity at in-person voting locations; and
  • Continuing the practice of early voting and expanding voter assistance programs and resources, including phone and online hotline assistance, in-person and online language and disability accessibility, and assistance for traditionally underrepresented voters.
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