BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The League of Women Voters (LWV) and the Girl Scouts recently collaborated to present 'Voter Girl', a one-day class for Girl Scouts of all levels to earn citizenship badges through learning about civic engagement and advocacy. League of Women Voters volunteer workshop leaders and a variety of elected officials -- who volunteered to participate -- empowered the Girl Scouts to act on their right to vote, engage in civil debate and learn to be counted in the 2020 census.
The program, which coincided with the 100th Anniversary of both the LWV and the passage of the 19th Amendment, provided a valuable opportunity for girls and women of all ages to see women who are actively engaged in making Democracy Work.
Four of these events were held simultaneously at four different New Jersey locations: Plainfield, Woodland Park, Brick Township and Pitman.
More than 100 League of Women Volunteers from the Garden State and 50 elected officials participated, along with numerous Girl Scout volunteers, and over 500 Girl Scouts who participated.
An introduction piece to the event was provided via questions that were asked of a variety of elected officials who volunteered to appear for the event.
At the Plainfield location, Elected officials included Assembly Woman Nancy Munoz (R-21), Assemblywoman Lynda Carter (D-22), County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi, Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, Plainfield Councilwoman Joylette Mills Ransom, Dunellen Councilwoman April Burke. Each age level then attended a workshop where the Girl Scouts completed a Citizenship badge including Behind the Ballot, Celebrating Community, Finding Common Ground and Inside Government.
Thanks to the Union County Board of Elections, the Girl Scouts cast ballots on the actual voting machines used in Union County. The girls voted -- depending on their level -- on issues dealing with the most important constitutional amendment, how to increase participation on election day, the best way to arrive at a decision,the most important branch of government. All groups voted on whether to ban single use plastic bags in grocery stores.
A variety of community service groups also set up and distributed information for general knowledge including the US Census Bureau, local historical groups and the local Board of Health.