Jennings Randolph Award
Jennings Randolph is the father of the 26th Amendment and the late U.S. Senator from Harrison County, WV. Senator Randolph epitomizes what it means to never give up. He introduced a bill eleven times to lower the required age to register to vote from 21 to 18. Imagine failing not once or twice, but ten times before reaching your goal! Randolph believed that if U.S. citizens were old enough to fight and die for their country, then they were old enough to vote for the leaders who were sending them to these conflicts. In 1971, the 26th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed and changed the voting age to 18.
In honor of Senator Randolph's determination to get young people involved in the voting process, the Secretary of State's office has created the Jennings Randolph Award. This award is given to high schools that have 100% of eligible students registered to vote. Some exemptions may apply, for example, like students who choose not to register for religious beliefs.
How to take part?
Students eligible to register to vote are either 18 years of age, or 17 years of age and will be 18 by the date of the next general election. The application confirming that 100% of the school’s eligible students are registered can be mailed to WV Secretary of State, Building 1 Suite 157-K , 1900 Kanawha Blvd. East, Charleston, WV, 25305 or emailed to wvsos.com.
Application for West Virginia Secretary of State Office’s Jennings Randolph Award
When a school reaches 100% registration of eligible students, a plaque signifying this achievement is created and presented to the school principal at an assembly. Schedule permitting, Secretary Tennant plans to attend each award presentation.