How do you get more young adults registered to vote? Make it a competition.

New Jersey has launched a unique initiative to encourage civic engagement among college-aged residents.

An event Wednesday in Hackensack launched the 2018 New Jersey Ballot Bowl, a non-partisan competition in which students at campuses across the state compete against one another to see who can sign up the most students to vote.

"We have engaged an estimated 50 colleges and universities in New Jersey," said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. "We are very fortunate and excited to have a strong interest."

Way said the Ballot Bowl is attempting to "harness the burst of energy" seen in New Jersey and elsewhere, from young people who "want to be part of democracy."

To make things fair for smaller schools, participating institutions have been divided into three separate conferences based on student population.

Conference winners will be acknowledged and rewarded with a trophy at a to-be-determined event in October.

In New Jersey, voters must be registered by October 16 in order to vote on November 6.

Less than 40 percent of New Jersey's eligible voters actually cast a ballot in the 2017 gubernatorial election.

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