Secretary Benson, partners launch MI Vote Matters high school challenge on National Voter Registration Day


In this Sept. 24, 2020 file photo, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson speaks in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya File)

LANSING Mich. (WLNS) — Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson plans to help young voters be more engaged while increasing their voter knowledge with a new program with nonpartisan partner organizations on National Voter Registration Day.

She wants to make sure all eligible high school seniors are prepared by preregistering to vote.

The MI Vote Matters High School Voter Registration Challenge inspires high schools across Michigan to help connect students with their right to vote through civic education and nonpartisan voter registration drives.

Schools can aim for the highest voter registration rate and earn recognition from Benson for the percentage of eligible seniors who have registered or pre-registered:

  • Gold for 90% and above
  • Silver for 70% and above
  • Bronze for 50% and above

“All high schools in the state are invited to participate in the MI Vote Matters challenge and to encourage students who are eligible to register to vote,” Benson said. “When young people empower themselves as voters, they make our democracy stronger.”

In Michigan, those who are U.S. citizens and at least 17.5 years old can pre-register to vote and can take part in officially voting when they are 18 years old.

The Secretary of State’s Office is partnering with several nonpartisan organizations that already have standing high school voter registration programs.

“The Michigan Center for Civic Education (MCCE) celebrates the Michigan Department of State for recognizing the importance of engaging all voters, especially those in their most formative years, in the importance of voting,” said Ellen Zwarensteyn, Executive Director of the MCCE.

High school administrators can request an action kit at and will be provided with resources needed to get begin.

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