For the love of gov: 4 ways to get involved in politics and the 2012 elections

By Julianne Micoleta
Elk Grove

In the midst of an election year, it’s more important than ever for teens to stay informed and get involved. After all, the decisions being made now will affect our future as college students and then adults. Here are some ways for teens to stay in the loop for the 2012 elections.

MTV’s Power of 12 campaign
Teens can get involved at It’s built to help the Millennial generation get informed on the candidates and key election issues, as well as simplifying how to get registered to vote. They keep you updated on the latest news from the campaign trail, stripping away all the noise and focusing on what really matters to young voters.

Mikva Challenge
The Mikva Challenge is focused to help youth in Chicago take political action now in order to develop the next generation of civic leaders. Through the Mikva process, young people can connect with peers and adults on political issues and learn how to develop strategies on how to identify, research and lobby issues at the school and city level. See more at

Election judge
Looking for a way to be a part of the political process directly? Serving as an election judge is a great way to get involved. Students will learn the ins and outs of working election equipment, setting up the ballot box and what to do if there’s a problem. You’ll go through training and get paid for the job, but you must be 18 to participate. Visit or your local government website for more info.

Consume news
Whether it’s a newspaper, magazine, radio, the TV or even the Internet, the No. 1 best way to get involved is to just keep informed. Watching the news, reading about it and even talking to friends, family and teachers about issues is a good way to stay on top of things.

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About The Mash

The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free every other Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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