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**2020 Alaska Youth Voting Challenge**

Announcing a special civic engagement opportunity for our youth, 17 and younger, to learn about the importance of voting by encouraging the adults in their communities who are eligible to vote, to do so in the general election on or before November 3, 2020. This statewide challenge seeks to:

What you need to know:

Letter of Interest (LOI) Instructions

First Alaskans Institute is an Alaska Native non-profit with an interest in ensuring our Native community overcomes the historic and current disenfranchisement of our community members from the voting process, educating our non-Native community about Alaska Natives and the voting history of the state and country in regards to Alaska Natives and other peoples of color, and improving relations between all peoples who call Alaska home. To be complete the following must be included in the LOI, which cannot be longer than 3 pages in length (1 inch margins, 11 point font, and single or double spaced).

Provide brief responses to the following questions:

  1. What is the name of your school or youth group?
  2. What is the mailing address of your school or youth group?
  3. How will the Alaska Native community and students be engaged in your youth group’s or school’s effort to increase the voting turnout in your community?
  4. How will the Native community benefit from this effort?
  5. How will the non-Native community benefit from working alongside the Native community and other communities of color in this effort?
    *Please note: In the event of a tie, or competing youth groups or schools in the same voting district(s), the information provided in questions 3-5 may be used to help FAI decide who the winner(s) will be.
  6. What is the voting district(s) the youth group or school is located in that they will focus their voter turnout efforts in?
    *Please note: The voting district(s) listed here will be the only ones that count for this applicant’s performance in the challenge even if there are other voting districts associated with or located where the youth group or schools is located.
  7. How will you know if this effort by the youth group or school actually helps increase the voting turnout in the selected voting district(s) listed in question 6 above?
  8. Describe what the youth group or school will use the funds for if they win.
    *Please note:
    • The incentive prizes may not be divided or distributed as cash to any individual child or youth, and instead must be used to purchase educational or recreational items that benefit the winning school or youth group, and
    • In the event of a tie, or competing youth groups or schools in the same voting district(s), this information may be used to help FAI decide who the winner(s) will be.
  9. It is important to note that the goal of the Alaska Youth Voter Turnout Challenge is to increase voter turnout in Alaska. By submitting this LOI you swear and affirm that your efforts will be focused on increased voter participation in your selected district(s), but will not, in any way, reward an individual voter for their vote. Further, any funds received will not be disbursed directly to any child in the form of a monetary payout. Do you affirmatively agree to this? Please state your affirmation in your LOI.
  10. Do you affirmatively agree to ensure that if your school or youth group is successful, no funds received from this challenge will be disbursed directly to a child in the form of a monetary payout? Please state your affirmation in your LOI.
  11. Provide a point of contact (name, email address, phone number, and role with youth group or school) who will be available to: answer any questions FAI may have, be contacted by FAI on the status of this application, and/or to make payment arrangements for the school or youth group in the event they are successful in the challenge.

By participating in this challenge, you are committing to this NON-PARTISAN get out the vote effort. This means the supporting and/or educating adults for the youth group or school must commit to this as well as the participating youth. The youth must learn what this means and ensure their efforts remain non-partisan at all times as they perform get out the vote efforts leading up to and on the day of the election. Please affirmatively state in your LOI that you, your youth group or school, others supporting and/or educating the youth in this challenge, commit to the following:

  1. By submitting this LOI you swear and affirm that all get out the vote efforts that you conduct under the Alaska Youth Voter Turnout Challenge will be strictly non-partisan and will not, in any way, endorse a specific candidate or induce voters to vote for a specific candidate. Any partisan effort will immediately void your participation in the Alaska Youth Voter Turnout Challenge. To affirm your understanding of this requirement and your agreement to comply with it, please state your affirmation in your LOI.
  2. This is also an effort to increase civil, civic engagement. It is not an opportunity to cultivate ill-will, contention, bad behaviors, engender negativity or bullying, or any of the like. It is meant to help teach our young people how to work together to accomplish something for their communities and how important voting is. By submitting this LOI, you are committing to this CIVIL, CIVIC ENGAGEMENT EFFORT, which means those involved, either the supporting and/or educating adults or the youth actively engaging in outreach, must refrain from anything outside of this intention. It also means that anyone who submits an LOI agrees to not dispute this effort by FAI, how FAI will determine the winners, or disperse the funds. Please affirmatively state that your group or school effort commits to this in your LOI.

Thank you for taking the time to thoughtfully answer these questions. LOI’s must be submitted to [email protected] no later than 5pm Alaska Standard Time on November 3, 2020 (Election Day). First Alaskans Institute will review your completed application and notify you about the status of your application as soon as possible.

How Selection Works:

The school or youth group with an approved application that:

  1. Is located in the district(s) identified in its application,
  2. Has the district(s) that has the highest turnout by percentage increase from the 2016 general election (similar to how The Biggest Loser television show works on a percentage basis to identify the winner), and
  3. Can show their efforts helped increase voter turnout in their identified districts will win one of two incentive prizes – 1st place is $15,000, 2nd place is $10,000, and 3rd place is $5,000.

FAI will wait until the Alaska Division of Elections certifies the 2020 general election results before determining the participating district with the highest percentage increase of voter turnout compared to the 2016 general election. FAI will then announce the winners.

Please note: The incentive prizes may not be divided or distributed as cash to any individual child or youth, and instead must be used to purchase educational or recreational items that benefit the winning school or youth group.

Important Note:

The goal of the Alaska Youth Voter Turnout Challenge is to increase voter turnout in Alaska. By submitting this application you swear and affirm that your efforts will be focused on increased voter participation in your selected district(s), but will not, in any way, reward an individual voter for their vote. Further, any funds received will not be disbursed directly to any child in the form of a monetary payout.

This program does not violate federal or state law.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

Good luck! Let’s Get Out The Vote, Alaska!