Update: more than 4,700 FCPS students have registered as of May, 2018!
Voting is a fundamental civic duty and right of all eligible U.S. citizens and one of the primary ways we make our voices heard. For youths who come of voting age, it is an important rite of passage. This Challenge aims to help ensure that the torch of civic engagement is passed on to the next generation of voters. We are each responsible for the health of our democracy.
The LWVFA has teamed up with Inspire VA and the Fairfax County Council of PTAs (FCCPTA) to create this challenge. We are also working with the Fairfax County Office of Elections and the FCPS Social Studies' Department to ensure we are reaching eligible students.
What is the Challenge?
- FCPS Schools will register the seniors.
- Accurate, complete applications get bonus points!
- Schools should aim to complete the challenge by May 21st, 2018. (May 21st is the Voter Registration deadline for the June 2018 Primary).
What’s the prize?
- The school that registers the highest percentage of their senior class will receive a 2018 Voter Registration Challenge First Prize trophy (and bragging rights!).
- Any schools which register over 50 percent of their students will receive awards.
- Download the flyer here.
How do schools register for the Challenge? How do teachers and students submit their Registration numbers?
All FCPS High Schools are have their own unique URL that links directly to the Virginia Department of Elections' website. That allows us to track the numbers registered. The links for each high school are listed below on this page.
Are you an alumni, parent, neighbor, teacher, or a fan of a particular school? Please don't use these links on the High School Voter Registration Challenge page to register or check your registration. Register here instead.
Who can participate?
All high schools in FCPS and all FCPS students who meet the voter registration requirements.
What are the prerequisites for registering to vote in Virginia?
- Be a United States citizen
- Be a resident of Virginia
- Be at least 18 years old by the next general election. 17 year olds who will turn 18 on or before the next general election (November 6th, 2018) can register now (The math is easy this year -- anyone born or on before November 6th, 2000).
- Have had voting rights restored if have ever been convicted of a felony
- Have had capacity restored if have ever been declared mentally incapacitated in a Circuit Court
Can eligible students register to vote online?
Some can! If you have a Virginia driver's license or learners' permit and meet the other eligibility requirements, then yes, you can. If you do not, then you can begin the registration process online. You will, however, need to print out the application for further information.
Click on the name of your high school below. The link takes you directly to the site of the Virginia Department of Elections where you can register to vote.
By registering via your unique link, your school will get credit towards the Challenge! That's how we will keep track of how many students have registered per school.
Click on the name of your high school below. The link takes you directly to the site of the Virginia Department of Elections.
Q: If we can register to vote online, we can actually vote online, right?
A: What? NO! You can not vote online!!! Can you imagine the problems that would happen if online voting were actually hacked? (You might have heard about hacking into election systems, but that was actually the voter registration databases, not the actually vote counting mechanisms themselves).
Did you know that there are 13,000 different jurisdictions making their own rules about conducting elections in the United States. States, cities, counties, and tiny towns all make rules regarding elections. That fragmentation actually helps us since it would be difficult to hack so many of the different jurisdictions.
Q: Do you know the most secure way to vote?
A: On paper. That's right. Read more here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Our school would like to participate, but we have many students whose parents are in the military and hold residency in other states. Should these students participate?
A: Yes, these students should participate, but they need to talk to their parents to see where their parents would like them to register to vote. The students can fill out a survey, pledging that they have registered in another state. We will then count them as participating.
Q: Where can students register in another state?
A: To register in another state, visit the League of Women Voters of the US' one stop shop for voter information, http://www.vote411.org/register
Q: Our school has students who were born in other countries and are not yet US citizens.
A: Many FCPS schools have a good many foreign born students. Discuss the importance of registering to vote when they do become citizens.
Q: I heard that 17 year olds can vote in Virginia. That's not true, is it?
A: Yes, it is true -- seventeen year olds who are registered to vote can indeed vote in primaries in Virginia as long as they will be 18 by the General Election. In 2018, the primaries for the federal elections will be held on June 12th.
Since primary voters decide which candidates run in the General Election, that makes sense, no?
Q: I am 17 and live in the Town of Vienna. My birthday is July 29th. Can I vote in the Town of Vienna elections in May if I am already registered?
A: Ah, well one might think so since you can vote in the June primary when you are 17. A town election is different, though, as it is the final, i.e., general, election. You can vote in the primary election as long as you will be 18 on or before the General Election. Thus, your vote will help decide who runs in the general election in November.
The town election, however, is the final election -- there are not primaries. So, sadly, no, you cannot vote in the Town of Vienna election in May when you are 17. Never fear, though. You can vote the following year when you are indeed 18!
Q. Where can I find more information about voter registration in Virginia?
Q: Where do I find out more about High School Voter Registration Drives?
A: For more about high school voter registration drives, click here.
Q: What about college students? Do they vote at home or at college?
A: Good question! For more about college students' voting, visit https://www.lwv-fairfax.org/collegevoters/