Newhalen School close runner-up in Alaska Youth Voter Turnout Challenge

Feb 15, 2019

Youth encouraged adults to get out and vote by handing out flyers, hanging up posters and talking to eligible voters.

view from Newhalen
Credit Avery Lill/KDLG

Newhalen School won second place in the Alaska Youth Voter Turnout Challenge. The competition, which is put on by First Alaskans Institute, is designed to get kids under 18 involved in civic engagement.

Students encouraged eligible voting age adults in their communities to get out and vote. The winners were determined by the percentage increase in voter turnout in the 2018 general election compared to the turnout in the 2016 general election.

Hooper Bay School took first place with a 12.8 percent increase. Newhalen was a close runner-up at 12.2 percent.

First Alaskans Institute explained, “Youth from both communities used a combination of handing out flyers, hanging up posters and reminding people to vote in person. The communities responded to the voting appeals of youth by sharing the message on social media and VHF radio, and by voting.”

Newhalen won a $5000 prize that the school will put toward building a new outdoor basketball court. Hooper Bay School will put its $10,000 winnings toward the community carnival and buying books for local children.

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200.