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03/21/2019

Deadline Nears for High Schools to Register for Governor’s Civic Engagement Award

Harrisburg, PA — Pennsylvania high schools participating in voter registration efforts can still enroll in the Governor's Civic Engagement Award (GCEA) program. The deadline is April 22.

To assist students and teachers in the program, a Pennsylvania Statewide Spring Voter Registration Webinar, with voter registration tools, resources and more information about the GCEA, will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. today.

Inspire U.S., a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that educates and assists students working to increase voter participation, will conduct the webinar.  To register for it, email hilary.kinney@inspire-usa.org.

Initiated at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, the GCEA program is a cooperative effort by the Departments of State and Education, in collaboration with Inspire U.S. The program promotes student-led voter registration efforts at high schools and recognizes schools that register at least 65 percent of their eligible students.

"Already this year we have surpassed last year's school participation numbers," Acting Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said. "With a month until the April 22 deadline, I hope even more high schools will take advantage of the GCEA program to educate young people about voting and the electoral process."

So far this year, 51 high schools across the commonwealth have registered to participate and 712 eligible students from those schools have either registered to vote or pledged to register.

During the GCEA's inaugural year, 16 Pennsylvania high schools registered 2,955 eligible students to vote.

Eligible students are 18 years of age or will turn 18 on or before the date of the next primary, special, municipal or general election.

Schools that register at least 65 percent of their eligible students earn a Silver Level Award, while schools that register 85 percent or more of their eligible students earn a Gold Level Award.

New this year will be individual awards to outstanding students 17 years of age or older who engage in efforts to register fellow students to vote and also serve as poll workers.  Individual award recipients will be invited to participate in a program and ceremony in Harrisburg to recognize their achievement.

GCEA award applications for schools are available on the Department of State website. Schools can check a "leader board" from Inspire U.S. to track their progress on a weekly basis.

High schools can sign up directly with Inspire U.S., which will assist them with materials and data management, and in organizing school celebrations and recognition events.

Printer-friendly Pennsylvania voter education materials can be found at votespa.com.

MEDIA CONTACT: Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621

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