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A Question for Students: Why Is Voting So Important?

Winners of the statewide "Right to Vote" summer essay contest will be announced in September during Patriot Week.

How would you describe the importance of voting in America? Could you explain it in 400 words or less?

Students statewide will have a chance to answer this question in the "Right to Vote" essay contest: "How does a citizen's right to vote help make America the greatest country in the world?"

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Michael Warren launched the contest July 3.

"We really want to encourage young people to look at what makes America great, our founding principles, and how the right to vote - to make your voice heard - is so critical to maintaining our freedoms," Johnson said.

Contest winners receive a certificate of recognition, a patriotic-themed gift and will be announced Sept. 11 to 17 during "Patriot Week."

Patriot Week was co-founded by Warren and his 13-year-old daughter, Leah, in 2009 as a means of celebrating America's core principles and history in a meaningful way. It's gaining momentum around the state and country, and is anchored by two key dates: Sept. 11, the anniversary of the terrorist attacks, and Sept. 17, the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution.

"Secretary of State Ruth Johnson's sponsorship of a Patriot Week essay contest is a great way for our students to learn more about the blessings of liberty," Warren said. "This is an important step in furthering the cause of Patriot Week and renewing the spirit of America."

Essays, limited to 400 words or less, must include a title and the student's:

  • Name
  • Grade (as of September 2012)
  • Address
  • Contact information (phone and e-mail)

The deadline for submissions is Aug. 10, and essays can be submitted on the Secretary of State's website or mailed to:

Michigan Secretary of State Essay Contest
Office of Communications
Richard H. Austin Building, 4th Floor
430 W. Allegan Street
Lansing, MI 48918

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