Current fourth-graders won’t be old enough to vote in a presidential election until 2032 or later, but New Hampshire officials have found a way to involve them in the democratic process much sooner.
The secretary of state’s office announced Tuesday that fourth grade students from across the state will have until Oct. 4, 2023, to submit their hand-drawn designs for the state’s first-ever “I Voted” sticker contest. Three winning designs will be selected by a panel of local election officials, then those designs will be distributed to Granite Staters who cast ballots during the 2024 elections.
Deputy Secretary of State Erin Hennessey said it’s never too early in New Hampshire to teach kids about how the election process works, and this contest will help expand students’ civic knowledge.
“New Hampshire voters will also wear their ‘I Voted’ stickers with an extra sense of pride knowing they were designed by some of their youngest constituents with creativity and care,” she said.
Winning designs will be judged based on their creativity, inclusivity of all voters, and focus on New Hampshire, organizers said. The designs must include the phrase “I Voted” and be drawn on the template provided. Offensive or partisan messages are ineligible, and each student must have a permission slip for their entry. (See the secretary of state’s website for details.)
The three winners will be invited to the secretary of state’s office in the State House in October, where their designs will be placed on display.
Although the timeline for New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary hasn’t been finalized, Secretary of State David M. Scanlan plans to open a candidate filing period in his office this fall. The most likely date for the primary is Jan. 23, 2024.
More than 450,000 people voted in the state’s 2020 presidential primaries, so the winning sticker designs are sure to spread far and wide.
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