By Nicole Tuttle For MediaNews Group
Macomb County students not old enough to vote can make an impact on future elections through their artwork.
The Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds office is inviting students in grades K-12 countywide to participate in the inaugural Macomb County “I Voted!” sticker design contest.
“The hope is that it will prompt conversations and be a tool for teachers and instructors to prompt conversations with students about civic responsibility and how and when and where Americans cast votes,” Clerk Fred Miller said. “And everybody knows voters get a little sticker, which some display after voting on election day.”
The competition opened in early January. There is no cost to enter and participation can help schools in their quest to gain points through the Macomb County Michigan Green Schools program, Miller confirmed. The entry deadline is in March 1.
“We developed this in concert with the Macomb Intermediate School District, with their leadership and their team of consultants over there. They work with teachers and know the curriculum and know the benchmarks, and they were able to help us present the contest to teachers in a way that intersects with the Michigan curriculum,” Miller said.
Contest guidelines include:
• Students must reside in or attend a school in Macomb County
• Designs should include the words “I Voted!” or allow space for words to be inserted
• Designs must portray the celebratory theme of “Your Vote/Our Future.”
• Designs must be in full color and can be created with any two-dimensional medium including crayon, colored pencil, paint or digital.
One entry per student is permitted.
• Participants must have a current, past or future teacher sponsor their entry, and teachers may sponsor more than one student.
All elements of the design must be the student’s original work. Students will also need to develop a design that can be simply replicated as a two-inch diameter circle sticker. A contest design template is available online for guidance.
Students in third grade and up should also include an artist’s statement with their entry. As younger students are exempt from this requirement, they will face no penalty in judging for not including it. The statement must be between 50 and 200 words, explaining how the design relates to the “Your Vote/Our Future” theme.
“We were kind of thinking that students do not necessarily have the right to vote, but the decisions voters make now and elected representatives affect students,” Miller said.
Complete contest rules, entry forms and design templates are available at macombgov.org/Sticker. Teachers can obtain more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting 586-469-5347.
Judging criteria includes use of creativity, artistic skill, execution and interpretation of the theme. Judges will be a mix of municipal clerks, representatives from the Macomb Intermediate School District and the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, Miller said. Entries will be evaluated March 30 to April 3. Winners will be announced on April 24.
The winning entry will be printed on stickers that are distributed to voters countywide during future elections. Miller said that this will not include the March 10 election, but the student designed stickers will be used for other future votes. Other notable designs will be included in a calendar produced by the clerk’s office. Participants and teachers will be recognized at a reception and art show in the spring of 2020.
Miller said over 100 entries have already been received. One teacher who had about 20 students enter is Jamie Harper, a sixth-grade teacher at Iroquois Middle School. She learned about the contest through the Macomb County Michigan Green Schools program, as Iroquois participates.
“Macomb Green Schools is giving a point to each school for this as a special project,” Harper said. “From there we talked about civic responsibilities and duties, such as picking up litter and voting.”