America has one of the lowest rates of voter participation of any of the world’s democracies. Almost half of eligible voters do not cast ballots in presidential elections (even less Americans participate in other elections), and studies have found that many Americans lack basic knowledge about their elected representatives and how our government works. With more than 74 million Americans under the age of 18 today, if present trends continue, most of these youth will not go to the polls and vote. The My Voice National Student Mock Election project aims to encourage young people to share their opinions and concerns about national topics, social issues, education, and their communities.
Student registration is via schools, home classrooms or youth groups.
Public officials from every level of government can help make the Mock Election in their states’ or districts’ schools a meaningful experience. Consider participating in a candidate’s forum with students and parents and/or attending a Mock Election. Your participation can empower and inspire students to vote for a lifetime. To be put in touch with your state’s Mock Election coordinator, or with other public officials who have participated, please contact us.
The responsibility of the volunteer coordinator is to “get the word out and the votes in.” Past coordinators have included public officials, non-profit leaders, educators and more. If you would like to know if a coordinator is needed in your state or district or seek more information, please contact us.
Once you complete and submit your required contact information on page one, then the second page contains eight questions (2 required; 6 optional) requesting information about your project. On the third and final page, you may attach supporting materials, such as newspaper clipping(s), photos, students’ work or other paraphernalia to the application. You may also add links to any online videos created as part of the project.
If you have your supporting materials at hand, you may complete the online application in less than an hour. However, you may elect to provide more in-depth responses, thus it may take several hours to complete. We recommend setting aside a time when you know you have at least 1-2 hours to facilitate completion of your entry.
The general deadline for all applications is January 10, 2013.
While we encourage you to use the online form to help us create a record of your application, you can also download an application form here. You can email completed applications to MyElection@PearsonFoundation.org or mail it to:
Attn: NSME Award Program
2 Belvedere Place, Suite 310
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Winners will be announced in early 2013. We will update the website once a specific date is determined.
Award winners will be recognized in a presentation hosted by the organization sponsoring the respective award or by an esteemed public official. Winners will also be celebrated on our website http://www.nationalmockelection.org/resources/awards/. Additionally, we’re exploring other incentives and will update our website when we have more definitive information.
If you feel that your mock election project was exemplary in any way (e.g., impact, overall strategy, uniqueness) we welcome you to apply. The awards will recognize outstanding projects on all levels (student-led, classroom, school, school district, and statewide) that demonstrate dedication, originality and resourcefulness.
How to vote: the online demo
Guide to Your Ballot
The My Voice National Student Mock Election allows students to cast votes for the President of the United States, as well as for U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and Governor. Check out these practice ballots to familiarize your students with the elective offices and candidates in 2012.
We encourage you to include the Issues Ballot as part of the mock election experience. By surveying students on key matters of national concern and reporting the results, we hope to help you cultivate critical thinking and focused debate in and outside the classroom.