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Big Choices, Big Voices Youth Video Contest DEADLINE EXTENSION TO JANUARY 30TH!

Calling all Boone and Winnebago County public high school students!

Youth participation in our democracy is essential, but turnout among young people is historically low.

Encourage your friends to vote.

Get creative with a public service announcement video.

To increase youth involvement in the election process, the League of Women Voters of Greater Rockford and WNIJ Northern Public Radio are sponsoring this video competition.

Eligibility: Must be a junior or senior student at a public high school in Winnebago or Boone County

Entry requirements
Deadline: Entries must be submitted by January 30th (Extended deadline).

Duration: Video must be 30 seconds

Please provide only one video submission per entry.

Submit Video Here

Originality: Video must be original and unpublished. Appearance of the video during the contest period is prohibited.

The video must cover one of the two following topics:

Topic 1: Registering to vote

Encourage use of the non-partisan IllinoisVoterGuide.org to find info on registering.

Any citizen who is 17 years old on or before Nov. 5, 2023, is eligible to vote in the March 19th primary election.

There are three options to register to vote:

⦁ You can register in person at a voter registration event or at the election office. You will need two forms of identification, one with a current address.

⦁ You can register online before March 3, 2024 by going to IllinoisVoterGuide.org or using this QR code.

You will need your Illinois drivers license or Illinois state ID number and the last four digits of your SSN.

⦁ If you do not have an Illinois drivers license or Illinois state ID you may print out an application from IllinoisVoterGuide.org and send in a copy of a current and valid photo ID; or a copy of a school report card or transcript, pay stub, bank statement, utility bill, or official mail from any government agency.

Topic 2: What and when is the primary election?

The primary election allows voters to determine which candidates compete in the general election on November 5, 2024. Basically primaries are used to narrow down a wider field of candidates. The upcoming 2024 primary includes many contests all the way from your local alderpersons up to the presidential candidates.

Encourage use of the non-partisan IllinoisVoterGuide.org to find info on voting.

The earliest you can vote is February 8 and the final day is March 19, 2024. You have 3 options on how to vote:

⦁ By mail from February 8 – March 19. Starting December 21, 2023 you can apply for a vote by mail ballot.

⦁ At the election office from March 4 – March 18

⦁ At the polling place on March 19

Participants under 18 years old by the time of submission, must receive consent from a parent.

Click Here for Consent Form

Judges and Judging Criteria

A panel made of League of Women Voters of Greater Rockford and WNIJ News staff will serve as judges. The videos submitted into the competition will be evaluated based on their creativity and tie to the prompt.


Top winning videos will be shared on WNIJ’s web site, social media and with other media outlet partners.

Things to consider when crafting your 30 second video:

⦁ Nonpartisan: No endorsement of a political party or candidate.

⦁ Profanity: No use of profanity or any language that belittles or discredits groups or individuals

⦁ Pay attention to lighting and audio quality.

⦁ Know your audience (You’re targeting young, first-time voters)

⦁ The use of copyrighted music is prohibited.

⦁ Check out this site for royalty free music https://freesound.org/

⦁ Be entertaining

⦁ Be creative

⦁ Be unique

⦁ Have fun

Questions? Need technical help?
Contact Maria Gardner Lara at mgardner3@niu.edu
or Carol Bailey at voterservices@lwvgr.org.