Suppose that I'm a social studies teacher in a high school in New York state. Odds are good that I'm teaching high school seniors about American history and politics. I want my students to get involved in the system that they're a part of. I tell my students that I will give them extra credit if they register to vote.
- Would giving this as an assignment be legal under New York state law?
- If it's not forbidden under state law, could it be forbidden by individual counties, towns, districts, or schools?
- Privacy. Some students might be fine with registering, but not with telling me.
- Citizenship. Some of my students might be undocumented, or might be on a foreign exchange.
- Age. I know you can register if you're going to be 18 before election day, but some of my students might just miss the cutoff.
Assumptions and Facts
- It's a public school.
- I'd prefer to give out forms and have my students fill them out in class that day, but I could live without it.
- I know exactly as much about my student's age and citizenship as I'm legally allowed to know.
- It doesn't matter what offices are on the next ballot.
- It would be a small and optional assignment; you could get an A in the class without doing it.
Giving out a grade for actually voting is beyond the scope of this question (and likely moot, since few people would be over 18 at the start of the academic year).