September 30, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Governor's Challenge in High School Voter Registration Fact Sheet

Governor McAuliffe announced the 2016-2017 Governor's Challenge in High School Voter Registration. The challenge will allow high schools across the Commonwealth to compete to register the highest percentage of their voting-age population. Schools that reach or exceed 65 percent will receive a congratulatory certificate from the Governor.  The purpose is to encourage high school students and teachers across the Commonwealth to conduct voter registration drives at their schools.  All Virginia public high schools are invited to participate in the Governor's Challenge.

This is an optional challenge.  If your school would like to participate in the challenge, please have your school's point of contact fill out the registration form at the following address: link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website.  Once your school has completed the sign-up process for the challenge, the Virginia Department of Education will send the point of contact listed on the form specific instructions on the rules for the challenge and participation instructions.  Each participating school will be assigned a school-specific URL from the Virginia Department of Elections through which you will direct your students to register to vote online.  The challenge will run September 27, 2016 through April 28, 2017.  Accordingly, please use your school-specific URL for the duration of the challenge.   

The Virginia Department of Elections has made contact information available for partner organizations that may be able to provide assistance with voter registration efforts at your school.   Contact information for these groups, which will be periodically updated, is available at: link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website.  Please note that all of these partner organizations are non-partisan. 

When young people register and vote they are more likely to continue voting.  By providing information and encouragement to our students, we can help shape the next generation of American voters.  The Department of Education encourages all high schools to participate in this opportunity to promote civics education and civic responsibility.



  1. Governors Challenge in High School Voter Registration-Fact Sheet for Schools (PDF)