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Clerk announces winners of Elections and Voting Video Contest

Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon has announced the first, second and third place winners of the county clerk’s 2020 High School Elections and Voting Video Contest.

The contest’s theme related to the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which granted women the right to vote, and to the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment which granted African American men the right to vote, according to a press release from Hanlon’s office.

All Monmouth County high school students were encouraged to enter the contest by
forming groups of no more than three to create an original video that emphasized the importance of this year’s historic milestones.

Students were also invited to reflect on what having the right to vote means to them, while encouraging their peers to get out and vote on Election Day, according to the press release.

“The three winning videos took different visual and historical approaches to creatively
encourage young people to exercise their right to vote,” Hanlon said. “I was extremely impressed by the students’ entries and commend them on a job well done.”

The first place winner, Tienne Yu, a junior at Biotechnology High School, Freehold Township, received a $200 gift card prize for her entry.

Under the direction of her teacher, Lynn Barrett, Tienne created an inspiring video explaining the history of the nation’s voting rights, while showing how to properly cast a mail-in ballot in Monmouth County.

She also involved her classmates to encourage fellow young people to participate in the democratic process, according to the press release.

In her video, Tienne said, “Not voting equates to silencing our own voices and
suppressing the power we have been given. Voting is not only a right or privilege, but
it is an obligation we have to our country today, our country tomorrow, and our
country the many days after that.”

The second place winners, Meredith Farrington and Leighton Van Wagner, are
seniors at Trinity Hall, Tinton Falls, and each received $75 gift card prizes.

Under the direction of their teacher, Jennifer Havens, Meredith and Leighton created a video featuring a group of their friends to remind the younger generation how their votes can make a difference.

While citing this year marking the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, Meredith and Leighton said, “as United States citizens, voting is the cornerstone of our Constitution … we cannot forget how lucky we are to have the right to vote, and [that] it is our civic duty to do so.”

The third place winner is Natalina Leite, a junior at Saint John Vianney High School, Holmdel, who received a $100 gift card prize.

Under the direction of her teacher, Kylie Preston, Natalina’s video was comprised of hand-drawn and animated slides that provided an overview of the passage of the 15th Amendment and the 19th Amendment.

In her video, Natalina said, “It is especially important for you to vote if you are young because you are voting for your future, and possibly your future children in America. I hope you … go vote, for yourself, your future, and to honor those who fought to get us here.”

The three winning videos will be incorporated into the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office voter outreach campaigns, which includes Hanlon’s visits to high schools across the county and on the office’s social media platforms and websites, according to the press release.

The three videos are available for viewing on the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office
YouTube channel and Facebook pages. Visit Facebook.com/MonmouthCountyClerk and click on the Videos tab.

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