They are competitors in athletics, academics, state test scores and marching bands — now Burbank and Burroughs high schools are locked in another city showdown.
The winner, however, may not be a single entity but local democracy.
The crosstown rivals are taking part in the fourth annual Clerk’s Cup, a monthlong competition sponsored by the Burbank City Clerk’s office and the Burbank Unified School District. The goal for each school is to register or preregister the largest number of students to vote.
Students at smaller Monterey High, a continuation school, and Community Day School, an alternative education school, can also register.
“This is a healthy competition between BUSD high school students to encourage the students to register to vote, get involved in the democratic process and discuss the importance of their voice as young citizens,” said Burbank City Clerk Zizette Mullins, who is running the competition.
Questions about the competition or how to register can be directed to Mullins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students have until the end of the month to register, with the winner earning the Clerk’s Cup. Burbank High has won the three previous competitions.
Burroughs has about 1,180 upperclassmen and Burbank has roughly 1,245 juniors and seniors eligible to register or preregister to vote, according to last year’s California Department of Education statistics.
Preregistration is available for teenagers 16 years old or older, which allows them to be ready to vote immediately when they turn 18.
Although Mullins hasn’t set a goal for a specific number of students signed up, the city clerk said she’d like to register every student 16 years old or older in the district.
Students who register this month and turn 18 by March 3 will be eligible to vote in California’s primary election, which will be held that day. The next vote will be the presidential election on Nov. 3.
“It’s critical to have this type of outreach given, nationwide, how low voter turnout is from 18 to 25 years old,” Burbank Unified Supt. Matt Hill said. “So, the sooner we can get 16-year-olds thinking about registering to vote and actually doing it and being ready to vote at 18 is outstanding.”
The U.S. Census Bureau said voting increased in the 2018 election among 18- to 29-year-olds from 20% in the 2014 mid-terms to 35.6% in the most recent midterms.
However, that age group still had the lowest voter turnout among voting blocs that included between 30 and 44 years old, 45 and 64 as well as 65 and up.
Mullins has already spoken with Burbank and Burroughs high students on their respective campuses this month in her efforts to raise awareness.
Mullins hasn’t confirmed a date, but she said she plans to visit Monterey as well.
Winners will be announced during a ceremony at a Burbank City Council meeting sometime in December.