From Press Reports
Students in schools throughout Mississippi may not be old enough to cast a ballot on Nov. 8, but they will not be left out of 2016 general election festivities.
Promote the Vote, the secretary of state’s comprehensive K-12 voter education program, is in full swing. This year’s theme, “My Voice, My Vote,” highlights the importance of voting to our democracy and how one ballot truly can make a difference in an election.
The pinnacle event for Promote the Vote is a mock election for U.S. president, which is underway through Thursday. Mock ballots for the Promote the Vote election are now available for download at www.sos.ms.gov. As of Oct. 4, more than 120 schools with 50,000 students had registered to participate in Promote the Vote. Schools may still sign up to participate.
Once students vote for their candidate using the mock ballot, teachers or administrators should tally and transmit their classroom or school vote totals by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. Thursday. Results of the Promote the Vote mock election will be available in November.
“The mock ballot this year looks very similar to the ballot Mississippi voters will actually see at the polls on Election Day,” Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said. “The more realistic exposure to and information about the election process we can give our youth before they are eligible to vote, the more likely they are to participate in choosing their elected leaders when they become adults.”
Aside from the mock election, Promote the Vote includes a variety of contests for students in kindergarten through the 12th grade. Contests include visual arts, essays, editorials and advertising categories, among others. Entries will be accepted through Dec. 5 and winners will be recognized in a ceremony at the Mississippi State Capitol in February.
Grade-level lesson plans and downloadable activity sheets are also made available to teachers through Promote the Vote to facilitate the incorporation of information about the general election and the voting process into the curriculum.