Students in grades 6 through 12 can get in the spirit of the election season by entering the annual Secretary of State Essay and Slogan Contest.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes encourages all eligible students to enter the contest, which is designed to expand civic awareness of students who will soon be eligible to vote.

Students in 6th to 8th grades may enter the voter slogan portion of the contest by submitting an attention-grabbing word or phrase that expresses the importance of voting. The winning slogans will be chosen in an online poll. The first-, second- and third-place winners will receive cash awards of $1,000, $600 and $400, respectively.

Students in grades 9 to 12 can take part in the essay portion of the contest, which will focus on the role of the media in elections. The University of Kentucky Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, one of the contest’s sponsors, will judge the entries. A $1,000 prize will be awarded to the winner in each high school grade level.

In addition to the secretary of state’s office, the contest is sponsored and funded by the Kentucky Education Association and KEA-Retired, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and the Kentucky Department of Education.

Prompts, rules and entry forms are available at All guidelines must be met for an entry to be considered, and entries must be electronically submitted by 5 p.m. on Dec. 12 or postmarked by that date.