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 percent 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.
Gold Level: 100 percent of the senior class registered to vote. The Secretary of State's office will personally present the school with a commemorative plaque and present lead students with Student Ambassador certificates.
Silver Level: 85 percent of the senior class registered to vote. The Secretary of State will mail Student Ambassador certificates to lead students.
The application confirming that 100 percent of the school’s eligible students are registered can be filled out at the links below. You can fill out an online application or download and print out the application.
Online: Application for West Virginia Secretary of State Office’s Jennings Randolph Award
Download: Printable Application for WVSOS Jennings Randolph Award. If filling out on a computer, do not fill out in the browser. Right-click on the link, choose "Save link as..." to download the document to your computer. Fill out the application, save your work, then attach the document to an email and send to Communications@wvsos.gov. You can also fax it to 304-558-0900 or mail it to the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office, State Capitol Building, Charleston, WV, 25305
When a school reaches 100 percent registration of eligible students, a plaque signifying this achievement is created and presented to the school principal at an assembly.
If we may be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us: 304.558.6000 toll free 866.767.8683 email: Communications@wvsos.gov