NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ  - High school students across Middlesex and Somerset counties have a chance to to tell adults why people should vote in elections in a contest that the Women Voters of the Greater New Brunswick Area is sponsoring for youth.

In "Y-Vote," students can write an essay or produce a video explaining their thoughts and opinions about the importance of casting a ballot in a election.

The author of the winning essay and creator of the winning video will each a receive $500 prize at an awards ceremony.

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High School students can submit essays of up to 500 words, or videos up to three minutes long.

All essays and videos must be submitted by Oct. 10. The winners will be announced Oct. 25.

The Women Voters group is seeking "creative, effective and inspirational entries that focus on issues and personal experiences," the organizers said in statement.

"Entries should be a call to action, describing the importance of using our votes to influence the direction of our democracy," the Women Voters said. 

One requirement is that submissions can not include endorsements or criticisms of individual candidates or of political parties.

Jill Lewis-Spector, a member of the board of directors, League of Women Voters of New Jersey, lauded students for their efforts in the voting process.

"This year, we have worked along side, and been inspired by, local high school students as they have stepped up their voter registration and activism," Lewis-Spector said. "We hope this contest allows us to carry that message and enthusiasm to an even wider audience."