Governor Northam today issued a proclamation to officially recognize April 22-28, 2018, as Virginia High School Student Voter Registration Week. During this week, high school students, teachers and administrators across the Commonwealth will be encouraged to conduct voter registration drives at their schools. Governor McAuliffe announced the first annual High School Voter Registration Week in 2016.
“It is critical that we reach young people as soon as they are eligible to vote in order to encourage a lifetime of civic engagement and participation in the democratic process,” Governor Northam said. “Making voting more accessible is essential to preserving our shared democracy and ensuring that voters are able to make their voices heard at the polls.”
Virginia law allows 17-year-olds to register to vote, as long as they will be 18 on or before the next general election. They may also vote in any intervening primary elections.
“With this third annual High School Voter Student Registration Week, we aim to inspire even more high school students to register to vote,” said Secretary of Administration Keyanna Conner. “By reaching out to Virginia’s students now, we hope to inspire them to become involved, informed, and eager to have their voices heard at the ballot box.”
“A central facet of our work in K-12 education is to make sure we are preparing all of our students to become engaged and thoughtful citizens,” said Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “The third annual High School Student Voter Registration Week is a tremendous opportunity to highlight this essential part of a well-rounded public education.”
The Secretaries of Administration and Education, the Department of Elections and the Department of Education are continuing their partnership with non-profit, non-partisan voter registration organizations like the League of Women Voters of Virginia and Inspire Virginia in order to continue this important work.
“Inspire Virginia is delighted to be partnering with Governor Northam,” said Ian Baxter, Inspire U.S. Regional Manager. “Increasing the number of registered voters in high schools will develop and foster lifelong engaged citizens among young people in the Commonwealth.”
Resources are available on the Department of Elections’ website (www.elections.virginia.gov) to aid students and teachers in planning and conducting voter registration efforts. Contact information for partnering organizations and local voter registration offices that may be able to provide support is also available on the site.
Virginians can apply to register online at the Department of Elections’ Citizen Portal, located at http://elections.virginia.gov/citizen-portal/index.html. Registration is also available at the Department of Motor Vehicles, at local voter registration offices and at voter registration drives. The deadline to register to vote in the June 12th Primary Elections is Monday, May 21st.