By Aanika Veedon ’22
Beyond The Ballot, founded by Devin Carr and Grayson Miller of The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, is working to empower the next generation of voters. Carr and Miller said that they hope to educate “Generation Z” in order to “equip us to make a real difference.” Beyond the Ballot seeks to provide Gen Z with the resources needed to feel empowered by their vote—Carr, Miller, and their team believe that voting should not be a guessing game. Carr and Miller said that “while preparing to make our voices heard with our vote, we realized how little we know about our nation’s government.” Carr and Miller believe Gen Z has the potential to bring new energy to this country’s political climate. The two pose an important question which spurred their work on Beyond The Ballot—how can we expect to make a change if we don’t understand the system we are trying to change?
Beyond The Ballot’s approach involves transformative education, acting as a consolidated resource, and preparing Generation Z for success in the world of politics. Transformative education includes adapting their content specifically towards Generation Z as they believe that the generation responds best to our peers. By simplifying civic education, Beyond The Ballot is enabling young voters to feel “empowered about the educated and informed decisions they make.” Beyond The Ballot’s model as a consolidated resource stems from the founders’ experience; they realized that it is hard to find the information needed to understand civic duty when it is scattered across the internet. Consolidating resources is what is making Beyond The Ballot so successful, as their organization is a “one stop shop for all things civic engagement.” Carr and Miller believe that Generation Z has the power to make a real impact in this world, but can only do so if we are educated and informed about our civic duty. The Beyond The Ballot team recognizes that “the time is now to transform our hopes for a better future into our reality.”
Beyond The Ballot’s first project is their Civics Toolkit, which can be found as the interactive page on their website. The Civics Toolkit gives users the ability to learn about the basic structure of government, the voting process on a state-by-state basis, and how to register to vote. The way people cast their ballot is evolving, as many states are beginning to rely heavily on voting through mail-in ballots. With no comprehensive or centralized database compiling voting information, the Civica Toolkit enables users to gain easy access to essential information.
Beyond The Ballot has numerous projects surrounding voting that they are focusing on as they expand their organization. They are working to break down topics from voter suppression to voting in college, and are currently producing their own blog. You can get involved through Beyond The Ballot’s Instagram page, as well as on their website, in areas such as social media content, fact-checking, and fundraising (along with many more). Even if you have no prior experience, Beyond The Ballot is always on the lookout for new members to their team. As Carr and Miller put, “our votes are our voices, and when we are educated and prepared, Gen Z will be heard loud and clear.”