If you plan on running for student office or another position, you want to know how to win a high school election. Putting up posters and relying on your popularity isn't enough to guarantee you a win. Find out what else you need to do to ensure you run a clean and effective campaign to victory!
Getting Started on How to Win a School Election
Knowing how to win a high school election means you will have to do research and take steps that former elected school officials have taken. Consider the following key elements of a campaign.
Learn About Your School
Before you can be an official for your class, you will need to know about your class and the school as a whole. You can't make a difference if you don't know what to change. Ask your school's administration for a copy of the student guidebook and any other information they have about the history as well as current rules and stats for the school.
Get Involved Before Winning the Election
If you want to make changes to some of the rules in the school's policy, you'll have to get on the administration's good side. Ask to join in on meetings with school officials. It's also a good idea to get to know some of the parents of the students who will vote for you.
You can do this by attending PTA meetings. While at these meetings, don't be a passive attendee. Ask questions and voice your opinion so you stand out. Make yourself known to the administration because it will help you when you try to persuade them to make changes later on.
Get to Know Your Voters
Meet as many high school students as possible and try to make good first impressions on them. Be careful though, you don't want to seem fake because then people won't vote for you. Simply say hello and let people know you are running for whatever office you choose. If they seem interested in you, continue the conversation; if not, back off. Being pushy is another thing that will lose you votes.
Great ways to meet students include joining sports and social clubs. Again, don't join if you aren't interested in the group. Just make an extra effort to do more extracurricular activities you enjoy.
Gather Your Friends for the Campaign
You may have to bribe them or do a favor for them, but getting your friends involved with your campaign will surely get you ahead. You'll need help with getting your message out and handing out information. The more people you can get to support you, the better your chances of reaching more of the student body.
Another important asset of having your friends involved is that they can help you come up with your goals, slogan, and vision for the class. It's wise to have different views of what you should include in your campaign so you can reach as many people's desires as possible.
Campaign Tools for Winning an Election
After getting your supporters and meeting as many people at your school, it's time to get your message out to them. Start gathering and creating the following tools to help you win the election.
Create a Vision for Change
What do you want to change about your school or class? What goals do you have?
If you need help with this, you can ask your supporters for help. Another good way to target what voters really want is to ask them! Create a survey and ask teachers if you can pass it out during homeroom or other period. Then you can look it over and select what you think you can accomplish while in office. Don't make promises that you won't be able to follow through on to win the election. Students will know if you are bluffing about getting them out early for summer or something else that the school board will never go for. Just one false promise can cost you your integrity and the election.
Write a Speech
Write a speech about what you would like to see change. Ask your teachers and/or principal if you can hold an assembly or give your speech during lunch. When you do present, make sure you speak up and hold your head up high. Your confidence is just as important as the words in your speech. You might even want to include some humor to make your fellow students pay more attention to you. For example, if you're trying to give a funny student council speech, you should start out with a good joke to set the tone and make your speech more entertaining. This is a good opener whether you're giving a running for treasurer speech or one for another office.
Design and Hang Campaign Posters
If you aren't creative or artistic, ask one of your friends to help you. You want your posters to be attractive so it sticks. You want people to see your poster in their mind when they are choosing whom they would like to elect.
Think of a slogan for your posters that you can go by during the election. The catchier the slogan is -- the better!
Flyers are like walking posters. The difference between a flyer and poster is that you should include more information about your goals so people know which issues you are focusing on. Again, if you aren't creative or artistic, ask someone to help you.
Offer Campaign Swag
People love to get stuff. Invest in some pencils, buttons, magnets, or anything that you can have personalized. You can have either your slogan or just simply, "Vote for…" with your name. Just as long as the voters know who gave them the gifts. Remember, the idea is to stick out in students' minds, you can also bring in cookies or candy to pass out. Wrap them up in some saran wrap, tie it with something, and include a piece of paper with again, your slogan or name.
Let Yourself Shine
Just as confidence is essential during your presentation, it's also important every day. Stand tall, smile, and be friendly. Have fun with your election because students want someone who is real and approachable. With these tips and tools, you will put yourself in a great position to win your high school election.