Inslee, Wyman launch Governor’s Student Voter Registration Challenge

Gov. Jay Inslee and Secretary of State Kim Wyman are partnering to increase the number of young people who vote through a voter registration challenge aimed at students in Washington’s colleges and technical schools.

“Voting is a fundamental right and one of our most important responsibilities as citizens,” Wyman said. “Democracy works best when all voices are heard, and statistics show that not enough young people take the time to register and vote. We need to turn that around.”

“We want to boost not only the number of young registered voters, but also the percentage of those registered voters who cast a ballot on or before election day,” Inslee said. “We want your help. Together, Sec. Wyman and I are launching the Governor’s Student Voter Registration Challenge. We are challenging student leaders at our colleges and technical schools to register as many eligible student-voters as possible.”

More than 1 million Washingtonians were eligible to register to vote in 2016 but didn’t, and of those registered, nearly 1 in 5 didn’t vote. The November 2017 General Election set a record low for voter turnout — only 37 percent of voters returned their ballots.

Gov. Jay Inslee and Secretary of State Kim Wyman launch the Governor’s Student Voter Registration Challenge (Office of the Governor)

In March, Inslee signed a number of bills — dubbed the Access to Democracy package — to improve voter access and strengthen democracy in Washington state.

The bills make it easier to register to vote, allowing people to register up to and on Election Day, letting 16- and 17-year-olds pre-register to vote, and creating automatic voter registration for citizens obtaining enhanced driver’s licenses or identification cards through the Department of Licensing

The Governor’s Student Voter Registration Challenge asks all of Washington’s public higher education institutions to participate: 34 community and technical colleges and six, four-year universities.

The competition categories are as follows:

  • Community and technical colleges with the highest percentage of new registrations and updated registration information (change of address, change of name, etc.).
  • Community and technical colleges with the highest overall percentage of students registered to vote (includes students who were previously registered before the challenge began).
  • Four-year universities with the highest percentage of new registrations and updated registration information (change of address, change of name, etc.).
  • Four-year universities with the highest overall percentage of students registered to vote (includes students who were previously registered before the challenge began).

Participating schools will receive information about resources to help track their voter registration efforts.

The winning teams will be invited to Olympia for lunch at the Governor’s Executive Residence and will receive recognition on the governor’s social media channels.

Learn more about Governor’s Student Voter Registration Challenge.

Gov. Jay Inslee and Secretary of State Kim Wyman announce the Governor’s Student Voter Registration Challenge.