Original Articles By Dr. Lavin Featuring Expert Advice & Information about Pediatric Health Issues that you Care the Most About

Encouraging Adolescents to Think About Voting: The AAP Resolved to make this part of the Annual Health Visit

By Dr. Arthur Lavin

Along with some others, this post comes to you from the Academy Leadership Forum of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  As many of you know, I am going to be chairing a Committee of the AAP starting this summer, and this opened the door to me participating in this Forum, which gathers the senior leadership of the Academy, including the chairs of its various councils, sections, and committees, the presidents of all state chapters from every state in the US and provinces of Canada, and of course the president of the Academy.

At this Forum, a series of resolutions are brought forward for consideration by the leadership.

Several have caught my eye, and I will be reporting some of these that pass AAP.

This resolution proposes that pediatricians talk about registering to vote as part of the annual health exam from age 16 up.

The impetus for this resolution is in response to the fact that people ages 18-24 are the least likely to vote amongst all American adults.

I support the notion of every American voting, after all, why else have a democracy?  I don’t always agree with election results, I am sure no one does, but everyone is more likely to see the issues they care about become real if they vote.  Most disturbingly, if people don’t vote, they cede decision making away from votes cast and towards small groups of people who would then make decisions for all of us.

In Ohio, the way to register is simple, but comes with unfortunately strict deadlines that approach well before elections are held.

Also, here in Ohio, anyone who will be 18 on the day of a general election, may register and vote in primaries occurring the same year.  That means if you turn 18 by October 9 of this year, you can register now to vote in the May 8 Ohio primary and all subsequent elections.

For many years, Advanced Pediatrics has had flyers out around election times to encourage all to register, everyone from every party and view, and with this resolution we will be sure to encourage our emerging adults to think about voting.

For your convenience, here is the link to register:


Just click, and you can register!

And here are the deadlines to register and the days of elections for 2018:

To vote in the MAY 8 PRIMARY you must register before April 9

To vote in the NOVEMBER 6 GENERAL ELECTION you must register before October 9.

Just in case you are not familiar with the election process, May 8 is the election day which determines who will run for a variety of state and national offices in the fall, it is the primary election.

And so, November 6 is the election day which will elect people to the office of Senate from Ohio, all Congresspeople from Ohio, all Ohio legislators, the governor of Ohio, as well as all state-wide offices, including Treasurer, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Auditor.

I am pleased the AAP has thought of encouraging all pediatricians to remember to encourage our soon-to-be adults to think about taking responsibilities of citizenship along with all the other responsibilities we ask our adolescents to understand and accept.


  1. Democracy rests on voting, great to encourage emerging adults to join in.
  2. The link to register  https://olvr.sos.state.oh.us/AffirmEligibility
  3. The deadline to register:  April 9 for the May 8 Primary; October 9 for the November 6 General Election.

To your health,
Dr. Arthur Lavin


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