RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday announced the start of Virginia’s sixth annual Governor’s High School Voter Registration Challenge.
The challenge aims to encourage high schools to register at least 65% of their eligible senior classes to vote. The schools that register more than 65% will receive a congratulatory certificate from Northam.
“Our democracy depends on voting, and it should be as easy as possible,” said Northam. “Our landmark 2021 Voting Rights Act of Virginia makes voting easier and more accessible. This challenge helps ensure young people have the resources they need to become active and civic-minded citizens for life.”
Under the law, Virginia public high schools are required to facilitate voter registration during the school day.
Students born on or before Nov. 2, 2003 can register to vote in this year’s election.
The annual competition was created in 2016 through a partnership with the Office of the Governor, the Secretaries of Administration and Education, the Virginia Department of Elections, and the League of Women Voters of Virginia.
“We are always excited to be a part of this event,” said Secretary of Administration Grindly Johnson. “This contest is a great way to introduce the next generation of Virginia voters to the electoral process. We hope that it continues to encourage students to be enthusiastic about making their voices heard and contributing to our democracy.”
Those eligible can also register to vote by accessing services at a Department of Motor Vehicles office or on the DMV website. Virginians can also register to vote by submitting paper applications to their local general registrar by mail, in person, or by completing the online form on the Department of Elections’ website.
Schools participating in the governor’s voter registration challenge can get credit for each student who registers to vote via the Department of Elections’ Citizen Portal. Schools should use their school’s unique URL during that process, which can be found on the League of Women Voters of Virginia website.