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'Why Your Vote Matters' | TN Secretary of State announces civics essay contest for students

Tennessee students between Pre-K and 12th grade will be able to take part in the contest.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Secretary of State announced the theme for this year's civics essay contest on Friday.

The theme is "Why Your Vote Matters." Students will be able to submit essays about the topic, discussing the impact of the ballot and what it can mean to voters. Winners will receive a scholarship through the TNStars 529 College Savings Program.

The first place winner will get a $500 scholarship, the second place winner will get a $250 scholarship, and the third place winner will get a $100 scholarship. They will also be able to take a trip to the State Capitol.

All students between Pre-K and 12th grade are encouraged to participate. Schools will be able to choose up to two essays from each grade level to submit for the contest.

A full list of essay prompts is available below.

  • Grades 9-12: 500 words, "Why is it important to educate yourself on issues before voting?"
  • Grades 6-8: 350 words, "How can you make your voice heard in elections?"
  • Grades 3-5: 250 words, "Why is it important for people to vote"
  • Grades K-2: 50 words accompanies by a drawing, "What symbol best represents Election Day/voting?"

They can submit essays through November 30.

Previous contest themes have included citizenship, leadership and civic duty. The contest is meant to correspond with the Student Mock Election, which gives students a chance to vote in a mock gubernatorial election.

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