Challenge to register eligible high school students kicks off

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- An initiative to get eligible high school students registered to vote has kicked off.

Governor Ralph Northam announced the 2018-2019 Governor's High School Voter Registration Challenge on Tuesday.

His office and the Virginia Secretary of Administration along with the Virginia Department of Elections, Inspire U.S. and the League of Women Voters have reintroduced the challenge for the third year.

According to a release, high schools that get at least 65 percent registration of eligible seniors will earn an award intended to recognize and commemorate the efforts of the next generation of leaders to educate, engage and inform their fellow students about getting involved in the voting process.

The challenge kicks of Tuesday, which is also National Voter Registration Day and will end on May 20.

"We want as many qualified and eligible voters to cast their ballot here in the Commonwealth. Voting is what makes our democracy strong," said Northam. "It's crucial that we encourage young Virginians to make a habit of making their voices heard on Election Day."

Schools interested in participating in the challenge can sign up online by clicking on the first link in the Related Links box.

"When high school students begin voting early in their lives, they have a much greater chance of becoming a lifelong voter," said Secretary of Administration Keyanna Conner. "The renewal of the Governor's Challenge demonstrates the Commonwealth's commitment to encourage students all over the state to exercise their constitutional right and vote."

Students who are eligible to vote are already 18 or will be 18 on or before the next general election, which will take place Nov. 6.

The deadline to register for the upcoming midterm election is Oct. 15.

Former Governor Terry McAuliffe created this challenge in 2016.

To register, check precinct information, see a sample ballot and more, click on the second link in the Related Links box.

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