Your Own Government

Once at Girls State, you will organize into two political parties (Federalists and Nationalists). Afterwards, delegates may qualify as a candidate for city or state office.

Citizens of Virginia Girls State attend a campaign rally.

Elections will be held on city and state levels. Since delegates can only serve in one elected position during the week of Girls State, it is important not to run for a city office if you would like to possibly serve in a state elected position.

Campaigning

To provide an equal opportunity for all delegates, campaigning before you arrive at Girls State is prohibited. This includes but is not limited to discussing or announcing your intentions through electronic media. Photographic images and premade campaign materials may not be used for campaigning. Premade items include precut alphabetic letters or images and items such as party favors that are purchased before arriving at Girls State. Candidates will be disqualified from the campaign if this occurs. We encourage you to bring some of your favorite craft items such as paper, markers, glue and scissors from home so you can build your campaign materials during the session (please, no glitter, glitter glue, or balloons). Basic items can also be purchased from the Girls State store.

Run for public office and extend your experience even further.

Writing a Campaign Speech

Those running for office at Virginia Girls State will be asked to deliver a campaign speech to their constituents. We challenge you to research and practice effective speech writing before you arrive in June.

State Offices

Governor – The position of Governor is the highest elected office at Girls State. Elections for the Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General usually take place on Thursday. The Governor appoints and presides over a Cabinet of various state officials. The Governor, with her cabinet, considers bills passed by the legislature, and either approves or vetoes. The Governor makes several speeches to the citizens of Girls State, summarizing her activities and decisions. She usually returns the next session to preside over Girls State until the new Governor is elected.

Lieutenant Governor – The Lieutenant Governor serves as chief executive officer of Girls State in the event that the person elected Governor is unable to serve. The Lieutenant Governor is also presiding officer of the Girls State Senate.

Attorney General – The Attorney General is the chief legal representative of Girls State. She sits on the Governor’s Cabinet and advises the Governor on legal matters.

Other Elected Offices

You will use real voting machines to cast your vote

State Party Chairs (two positions: one for Federalists and one for Nationalists Party) – The State Party Chairs preside at the Party Conventions and serve as clerks for the state legislature.

City Offices

Each city has the following offices:

Mayor – The Mayor is the chief executive officer of the city. She presides over all city meetings and is generally responsible for the city’s conduct.

Council – Each city elects six members of the City Council. The Council passes ordinances for the city and assists the Mayor.

Treasurer – The Treasurer holds the moneys collected for city activities and keeps the financial records regarding the collection and disbursement of the money. She may also be asked to investigate and report to the city council regarding monetary matters.

Clerk – The Clerk keeps minutes for all city meetings. She also acts as court clerk in the case of a city circuit court trial.

Learn about civic responsibilities.

Commissioner of Revenue – The Commissioner of Revenue assesses taxes based on the laws and budget adopted by the city council. She works with the Treasurer on budgetary matters.

Sheriff – The sheriff is the city’s chief law enforcement officer. She assists the mayor in maintaining proper conduct.

Commonwealth’s Attorney – She is the city’s chief legal officer. She advises the mayor and the city council on legal matters. She prosecutes cases in the circuit court.

Senators – There are two senators chosen from each Girls State City for a total of twenty-eight. This group sits as the upper house of the Girls State Legislature. Senators introduce, debate and consider legislation.

Delegates – There are four delegates chosen from each Girls State City for a total of fifty-six. This group sits as the lower house of the Girls State Legislature. Delegates introduce, debate and consider legislation.

Gain exposure to different opinions.

Other Officials and Positions

There are many other officials that are not considered “constitutional officeholders” as their offices are not established by constitution or law.

These officials include the two State Party Clerks, one for Federalist and one for Nationalist Party, and also serve as clerks for the state legislature. The State Party Chairs preside at the Party Conventions and assist their party’s candidates with platform development and campaigning.

Other officials include City Party Chairmen, Convention Delegates, and News Reporters. The method of selection and function of these officials will be explained during the course of Girls State week.

Learn more about ALA VGS Veterans’ Project.

Girls Nation

During the week of Girls State, two delegates and one alternate delegate are selected to attend ALA Girls Nation in Washington, D.C. as senators representing Virginia. Learn more about ALA Girls Nation.

Taxes

Each delegate at Girls State is assessed a city tax of $2.00. This tax money goes to the Veterans’ project. Delegates may give more if they chose. Also, fines and other income in cities can also be used for this project if the city decides to do so. Learn more about the ALA VGS Veterans’ Project.