NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Secretary of State’s office is launching an award for Tennessee high schools which meet student voter registration thresholds, named after renowned Tennessee suffragist Anne Dallas Dudley.
High schools across the state that register 100 percent of the eligible students, who are 18 or older by the next election, to vote will earn the Anne Dallas Dudley Gold Level Award. High schools that register at least 85 percent of the eligible students, 18 or older by the next election, will earn the Anne Dallas Dudley Silver Level Award. Tennessee law allows students who will be 18 or older on or before the next election to register to vote.
“Our state and our nation are stronger when every eligible Tennessean is registered to vote and casts a ballot on Election Day,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “We are working with county election commissions across our great state to make sure students know that it has never been easier to register to vote in Tennessee and to encourage them to make their voices heard by going to the polls on Election Day.”
The Secretary of State’s office will present high schools that earn the Gold Level Award with a commemorative plaque and recognize students who led the registration efforts with certificates. For Anne Dallas Dudley Silver Level Award schools, the Secretary of State’s office will mail certificates recognizing the students who led the registration efforts.
Anne Dallas Dudley helped lead the successful effort to get the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified nationwide and in her home state, Tennessee. On Aug. 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th and final state needed to pass the amendment giving women the right to vote.
“It is an honor to have a voter registration award named after my grandmother, Anne Dallas Dudley,” said Trevania Dudley Henderson, Mrs. Dudley’s granddaughter. “Hopefully this award encourages all eligible students across Tennessee to register to vote.”
All Tennessee public, charter or private school or home school associations are encouraged to participate in the Anne Dallas Dudley Award program. Participating schools must submit an Anne Dallas Dudley Award application by March 31, 2022. For award rules and guidelines, visit sos.tn.gov/products/Anne-Dallas-Dudley-Award.
The Anne Dallas Dudley Award is part of the Secretary of State’s civics engagement initiative to promote voter registration to Tennessee students and prepare them to be actively engaged citizens. For more information about this award and our other civic engagement education efforts, visit sos.tn.gov/civics.