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Governor's Civic Engagement Award

Governor's Civic Engagement Award

About the Award

The Governor’s Civic Engagement Award is presented by the Pennsylvania Departments of State and Education. The award celebrates the efforts of Pennsylvania high school students to educate, engage and inform their fellow students about how to get involved in the voting process.

Governor's Civic Engagement Award

Award Distinctions:


Gold Level School Award

This award is presented to schools where 85% of eligible students are registered to vote.

Student ambassadors and the school will receive a plaque and certificates from the Secretary of State at a regional recognition event.


Silver Level School Award

This award is presented to schools where 65% of eligible students are registered to vote.

Student ambassadors and the school will receive a plaque and certificates from the Secretary of State at a regional recognition event.


Individual Award

This award is presented to students who participate in a voter registration at their school and serve as a poll worker on election day.

Individual award recipients will receive special recognition at a regional recognition event


  • To be eligible to register to vote, students must be US Citizens and 18 years of age (or 17 years of age and will be 18 on or before the next election).
  • To serve as a poll worker, students must be 17 years of age and obtain permission from their principal and parent/guardian to serve as a poll worker.

How do schools earn the award?

  1. Sign up with the PA Department of State.
    This year, we are asking ALL SCHOOLS to complete the online registration form to let us know that you are holding a registration drive at your school. This way, we can communicate with you periodically during the school year.
  2. Run Your Voter Registration Drive
    Plan and execute a voter registration drive at your school. Make a plan to count the number of registrations collected and calculate the percent of eligible students registered at your school.
  3. Submit your application for the Governor’s Civic Engagement Award.
    At the conclusion of your voter registration drive, submit your application for the Governor’s Civic Engagement Award using our online form. The deadline for applications is April 3, 2020.

Are there resources available to help plan a voter registration drive?

  • You can use this Quick Guide to get started. The guide covers the basics of what you'll need for your high school voter registration drive. 
  • The PA Department of State provides pledge cards to help track registrations. You can download and print the pledge cards, or you can request paper cards from the Department of State using a request form
  • Educators may use the Department of State's voter registration curriculum to integrate the Governor's Civic Engagement Award into classroom activities. The curriculum is also available on the PA Department of Education's Standards Aligned System
  • If you need paper voter registration applications, request them from the Department of State using a request form

How do I calculate the % of eligible students?

The school awards are calculated using the number of students who will be eligible to vote in the April 2020 Pennsylvania primary election. If you are not able to calculate the number of eligible students, you may use the size of your senior class as a proxy. Contact the PA Department of State or Inspire US for additional guidance on how to calculate the number of eligible students at your school.

How can I involve students who may not be eligible to vote?

Students who are not eligible to vote in the 2020 Pennsylvania primary election can still help organize and run voter registration drives. They can also help educate their peers about the electoral process. The Department of State also offers pledge cards that students can complete to say that they pledge to vote once they are eligible.

How do individual students earn the award?

  1. Contact your county election office.
    Contact information is at Ask the county election office if they allow high school students to serve as poll workers. If they do, submit the necessary information and application materials.
  2. Work as a poll worker on election day!
    In order to qualify for the award, you must serve as a poll worker on behalf of your county at a polling place in the November 2019 election.
  3. Educators and county officials submit nomination forms.
    Nominations may be submitted by high school educators and county election officials. This year, all nominations must be submitted using our online form.

Recognition Events

There will be four (4) regional recognition events in early May 2020 for the following regions:

  • Central PA
  • Northeastern PA
  • Southeastern PA
  • Western PA

Who can attend?

Faculty and students from ALL participating schools will be invited to attend. Even if your school does not earn an award, faculty and student leaders are welcome to join us for the recognition program. This year, we also encourage you to invite younger students to attend in recognition of their older peers.

What does the event include?

The event ceremonies will include guest speakers, a student panel, and awards presentation.


If you have questions, contact the Pennsylvania Department of State at 717-787-5280 or


Previous Year Winners:

2018-2019 School Year
Level Award School County % Registered
SilverAlbert Gallatin Area High SchoolFayette County70
GoldBoiling Springs High SchoolCumberland County94
GoldBuilding 21 AllentownLehigh County86
SilverCanon-McMillan High School Washington County68
GoldCarlisle High SchoolCumberland County91
GoldCentral High SchoolPhiladelphia88.5
GoldConrad Weiser High SchoolBerks County92
SilverFriends Select SchoolPhiladelphia 68
GoldHaverford High SchoolDelaware County87
GoldJ.R. Masterman SchoolPhiladelphia  94
GoldKiski Area High SchoolWestmoreland County85
GoldMiddletown Area High SchoolDauphin County87
SilverMontrose Area Junior/Senior High School Susquehanna County80
SilverMorrisville High School Bucks County70
GoldMurrell Dobbins Career and Technical Education High SchoolPhiladelphia 85
GoldNorthwest Area Junior/Senior High School Luzerne County100
GoldPurchase Line High SchoolIndiana County92
SilverRed Lion Area Senior High SchoolYork County75
SilverSouth Fayette High SchoolAllegheny County69
GoldSouth Williamsport Area High SchoolLycoming County86
SilverTrinity High School Washington County71
SilverWilliam W. Bodine High School for International AffairsPhiladelphia 74
GoldWyoming Valley West High SchoolLuzerne County87


2017-2018 School Year
Level Award School County % Registered
Gold Blue Ridge High School Susquehanna County89%
Gold Canon-McMillan High SchoolWashington County 99%
Gold  Carlisle High School Cumberland County 85%
Gold Conestoga High SchoolChester County86%
Gold  Derry Area High School Westmoreland County 88%
Gold Fox Chapel Area High SchoolAllegheny County85%
Gold Governor Mifflin High SchoolBerks County 87%
Gold Middletown Area High SchoolDauphin County86%
Gold Mt. Pleasant Area High SchoolWestmoreland91%
Gold  Northwest Area High School Luzerne County 95%
Gold  Purchase Line High School  Indiana and Clearfield Counties92%
Gold  Seneca Valley High School Butler County93%
GoldState College Area School District Delta ProgramCentre County93%
GoldThe Episcopal AcademyDelaware County 97%
Gold Wyoming Valley West High SchoolLuzerne County 87%
Silver University Prep Pittsburgh 67%




Secretary of State Marks National Voter Registration Day with Roundtable Discussion on Voting at Carlisle High School

2019/09/24 - Acting Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar celebrated National Voter Registration Day today by participating in a voter registration event and roundtable discussion with students at Carlisle High School.

From Our Blog:

GCEA logo

DOS Begins Third Year of Student-led Voter Registration Program

2019/09/17 - The PA Department of State is thrilled to kick off the third year of the Governor's Civic Engagement Award (GCEA) program...