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The Mock Election Works!

The University of Colorado's evaluation of the National Student/Parent Mock Election found that participating students showed increases in the belief that voting is important, political decision-making ability, informed involvement on current issues, the belief that social studies classes are relevant, the discussion of political and election topics with parents, and a decrease in the feeling of powerlessness. Reports from students and parents tell us that involvement in the Mock Election activities frequently results in parents turning out to vote who have never before cast a vote.

"One day in September in Mrs. Raptosh's class, we were talking about voting and its importance of it. I raised my hand and confessed that my parents didn't vote. Mrs. Raptosh told me that I should convince them to register and vote. She explained that every vote counted, and one vote could make a difference. When I thought about it, I realized that they should vote, because people fought and died for a right that so many people today take for granted. So I went home and told them about my day. I didn't think they would take me seriously, and at first, they didn't. They just said no. Mrs. Raptosh encouraged me to keep trying, and I did. After about a month I proved my point and they registered. On November 3, 1992, they voted for the first time. Now I will see to it that they vote in every election, and I will try to when I'm old enough. I can now say that my parents vote, and be proud of it."

Mary Beth Nanna, 12 years old, Grade 7

 

Students of all ages from kindergarten through high school and their parents and grandparents are invited to participate. Students participate in debates, issue forums, press conferences, candidate nights, and rallies as part of the Mock Election in their schools and communities. See Reports from the Real World for some descriptions of great Mock Election projects around the country.

Research shows that hands-on, interactive experiences are the best way to get students involved in their own learning process. The National Student/Parent Mock Election helps teachers motivate and reward students.

"Feedback from the 2000 Mock Election found that students were going home and talking with their parents about the importance of voting, the candidates, and the issues. What a wonderful way to bring citizenship issues into the home!"

Mary Wilkeson, Palm Beach Lake Community High School

"The District believes that 'Making Our Votes Count as part of the National Student/Parent Mock Election provided an excellent unifying learning event that galvanized our students, parents, and community. It brought to life in an exciting manner the civic responsibility of voting. This project truly made voting a family affair."

Michon Peck, District of Columbia Public Schools

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