Ready to Vote was created to teach students about civic engagement. Over the years Ready to Vote has provided forums for students to discuss and express their opinions. Here is a brief history:
- In 2003, Ready to Vote hosted the first gubernatorial debate between Mark Sanford and Jim Hodges, Ready to Vote: Speak Up, Speak Out. Over 100 high school students from all over the state came to the ETV studios in Columbia to ask the candidates questions pertaining to youth.
- In 2004, WIS-TV news anchor Craig Melvin hosted The Ready to Vote 2004 Teen Forum at ETV, with a student audience of 80 high school students discussing issues of importance to them and their peers. That program won a Gracie Award from American Women in Radio and Television.
- In 2008 Craig Melvin returned and hosted The Big Picture Presents: Ready to Vote 2008, with students in all five ETV studios across South Carolina debating topics ranging from the war in Iraq to the current financial crisis. During the 2008 electoral season we created the Ready to Vote Pod Squad, a group of college students who traveled the state interviewing candidates and visiting high schools to register students to vote.
For the 2018 Elections, Ready to Vote returned with brand new student discussions on Facebook Live, the focus on the South Carolina Gubernatorial Race.