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For Immediate Release 
October 8, 2004
Contact: Doug Dunbar

Governor and Secretary of State Announce
Maine Youth Voting Media Project State Winners

Student-Produced Public Service Announcements Showcased

AUGUSTA, MAINE – Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky was joined by Governor John E. Baldacci at a State House press conference and award ceremony on Friday to announce statewide winners in Maine's first-ever Youth Voting Media Project. Participating students and teachers were on hand for the announcement.

The Youth Voting Media Project is part of Maine's Promote the Vote initiative. It was created and implemented through a collaborative effort involving the Secretary of State's office and the Portland Public School System, with support and funding from the national Youth Vote Coalition and Carnegie Corporation.

The project has encouraged students in middle and high schools to develop 30-second Public Service Announcements (PSAs) focusing on the meaning and importance of voting. More than 100 students produced and submitted 65 PSAs.

First and second place selections from high school entries, as well as first and second place selections from middle school entries, have been made. The selected entries were shown publicly for the first time during Friday's press conference. Copies of the PSAs will now be made available to Maine television stations.

The first place selection in the Middle School category was a tie between entries from Boothbay Region Elementary School and King Middle School in Portland. The Boothbay PSA, which focused on the women's suffrage movement was created by Hillary L'Heureux and Rachel Cushing. The PSA from King Middle School, featuring students discussing the election in a classroom, was created by Caitlin Lowell, Emma Robinson, Sheldon Rembert, Holly Bauer, Max Bowe, Barbara VanDerbergh, Jordan Voisine and Haily Googins.

First place for High School entries was awarded to Mike Flaherty, Caitlin Gillies and Emma Verrill of Yarmouth High School, whose PSA compared the high number of people who voted on American Idol with the low number of young people who voted in the last Presidential election. Second place was awarded to TJ Couture and Nolan Moon from Portland Area Arts & Technology High School.

“This project has tapped the imagination and creativity of many Maine students. It's helped them to think more deeply about democracy and the voting process. I congratulate everyone who took part. Their efforts are important, and they will make a difference,” Secretary Gwadosky commented.

Additional information about the Maine Youth Voting Media Project is available through the Secretary of State's website at .