Voteless Not Voiceless
A Teen-Powered Get Out the Vote Campaign
Voteless Not Voiceless was Bow Seat’s youth-led campaign to inspire voters to cast 2020 ballots with our blue planet in mind.
While young people will face the worst impacts of climate change, millions weren’t old enough to vote in one of the most important elections of our lifetimes. By raising their voices together, our community of “voteless” youth worked to shift the hearts and minds of voters, and empower other young people to speak out for healthy environments, for resilient communities, and for a climate-safe future for all.
A Historic Election for the Planet
Extreme weather events, melting polar regions, sea level rise, drowning coasts, biodiversity loss, and toxic legacies of environmental racism… With our blue planet in crisis, 2020 was a critical election year for the U.S. to start to turn the tide on the climate emergency. While there is much work still to be done to build a better and healthier world for all, what’s clear is how powerful we are when we come together. There was a historic turnout of young voters and voters of color across the country in 2020, and we achieved many wins for people & planet thanks to the efforts of organizers, advocates, and citizens making their voices heard and building an intersectional future.
60 Youth Stories
Voteless Not Voiceless is a platform which centers youth voices, experiences, and visions for creating a healthy future for our blue planet.
16 U.S. States
From wildfires and hurricanes to pollution and justice, young people spoke out about the environmental issues impacting them and their communities.
$600 for Our Climate
Each youth story raised funds for Our Climate’s voter mobilization campaign and youth leaders, who texted 286,809 young voters and called 871 more, and wrote 1,162 handwritten letters to get out the climate vote.
Resources for Voteless Youth*
There is much work still to be done to build a better and healthier blue planet for all. Continue to take action beyond the election cycle by mobilizing your family, friends, and community members to make climate a priority at all levels of society. We need officials—from the president to the local school board—who will lead science-based and equitable climate policies that meet the speed and scale of the climate crisis.
Learn about the climate crisis
You don’t need to be a climate scientist to be able to talk about the issues, but we encourage you to learn more about the science and history of the climate crisis as well as the many movements, technologies, and solutions that already exist to solve it. Check out these great resources to educate yourself.
Pre-register to vote
Many states allow 16 and 17 year-olds to pre-register to vote so that they are ready to cast a ballot when they turn 18. Learn more about pre-registration in your state.
Register others to vote
Even if you can’t vote yourself, you can help register and mobilize others. When We All Vote has toolkits and action plans for hosting voter registration drives at your school or in your community.
Tell your story
Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Contact your school board and your local elected officials. Share stories about the ways climate change affects you personally, or highlight policies or actions that you want to see in your community. Need tips on how to effectively tell your story? Download this toolkit from Our Climate.
Talk about climate change
Research suggests that what you hear from friends, family, colleagues, or neighbors influences your attitudes or beliefs about climate change. This interpersonal conversation not only raises awareness, but makes it more likely for people to get involved in the issue.
Organize & build community
350.org founder Bill McKibben says: “The most effective thing you can do about climate as an individual is stop being an individual.” Find and join an environmental or climate justice group working for change where you live, and contribute your time, skills, or funds.
Allies & Collaborators
Terms & Conditions | Voteless Not Voiceless is a non-partisan project of Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we engage in activities that raise awareness of environmental issues that impact young people. We do not endorse, oppose, or campaign for specific candidates.