Does your school hold mock elections?
In October, 60,000 middle and high school students across California voted in a mock election that mirrored the upcoming general election on November 6. Through the mock election, students learned how to research candidates and ballot measures, and the Student Voter Information Guide informed students about their rights to register and preregister to vote once they become eligible.
Mock elections are a powerful tool in the classroom. They teach students how elections impact their lives, how to debate, how to write about issues from various perspectives, and how to vote. Some research even shows that casting a ballot in a school mock election has a lasting effect on youth political engagement.
There’s still time to hold a mock election at your school! You can make the election nonpartisan by excluding political offices and focusing only on ballot measures, or like the California mock election, you can include races for political offices as well. Secretary of State websites from many other states provide resources for mock elections, including Nevada (November 1, 2018 is Mock Election Day!), Texas, and Washington. Civics organizations like the National Student/Parent Mock Election and iCivics also provide useful resources and guidance for teachers and students.
So who and what ballot measures won in the California mock election? Click here for the results. After the real election on November 6, compare the results and ask your students: How did your votes compare to the general electorate? What do you think accounts for the differences and similarities? There’s your next lesson plan!