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‘I Am A Voter’ competition rewards designs for democracy

Voter Scholarship Feat

For anyone (everyone) sick of the explosion of negativity as we move closer to the Nov. 8 midterm elections, it’s worth paying attention to the groups trying to inject as much positive energy as possible into this time of year.

One such nonpartisan coalition led by Souls to the Polls WI is tapping into the creativity of our state’s high school and college students, as well as recent graduates, to find new ways of delivering an old — and important — message:

Vote.

The I Am a Voter Scholarship Competition gives students and recent grads a chance to earn money toward their education by designing social-media graphics that will boost voter turnout this November. On the line is $10,000 in scholarship money — two of $3,000 each and four of $1,000 each, which winners can use on current or future tuition and schooling costs, as well as student loans.

With the competition’s Oct. 14 submission deadline approaching, creative minds from across the state still have time to come up with a high-impact, nonpartisan design, 2D art piece or illustrative video that encourages people to get to the polls for the midterm elections — and hopefully beyond.

AIGA, the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design, is overseeing the competition, and its Wisconsin chapter is an official partner in the project.

“The is an opportunity for young and emerging designers and artists to apply their imagination to spark civic engagement in our precious democratic election process,” said Coe Douglas, AIGA Wisconsin’s Design for Good Chair and a lecturer at UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts.

“Art has always had a vital role in social change, oftentimes providing the very spark that ignites action. As educators, we can design a better future and use creativity as a tool to inspire young voters, first-time voters, lapsed voters, all voters, by reminding them why their voice and their vote matters to our common future.”

To submit a design or get more information, visit the competition’s website. You can also warm up your voting muscles by helping pick the People’s Choice winner between Oct. 17 and 28.