Record Numbers Now Voting in National Mock Election

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Students Can Still Register at http://www.nationalmockelection.org and Cast Presidential Ballots by October 30

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Thanks to these volunteers and our committed partners and sponsors, we are looking at the most successful Mock Election in our 28-year history.

Since voting began on Monday in the National Student/Parent Mock Election, more than 100,000 voters have already cast their ballots for the candidate of their choice. Based on current statistics, Mock Election officials are hoping for a record-breaking eight million voters by the October 30 deadline, doubling 2004's count of four million.

Mock Election President Gloria Kirshner said, "We have tens of thousands of volunteers in schools and communities across the country and around the world who are working long hours to help us get the word out." She added, "Thanks to these volunteers and our committed partners and sponsors, we are looking at the most successful Mock Election in our 28-year history."

Tabulating of ballots is being managed by the Wisconsin-based education survey research firm School Perceptions. "We are thrilled with the response to this year's Mock Election. With our state coordinators reporting in hourly on Mock Election night and the enrollments increasing so dramatically, we are working 24/7 to manage the increased volume as we come closer to our October 30 deadline," said Bill Foster, President of School Perceptions.

Officials announced that for the first time in the history of the Mock Election, two elementary, two middle schools and two high schools will receive a special award for highest participation levels -- a visit to their school of an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, provided by the Declare Yourself youth voting organization with funding from the Pearson Foundation.

Kirshner said, "While we have been encouraged indeed by the marked increase in the youth vote in the last two elections and the enthusiasm of young voters in this landmark election, we still have a long way to go. This generation will face unprecedented challenges when it is their turn to preserve and protect their democracy. There is no greater legacy any of us can leave them than the strength and the ability to meet those challenges."

The Mock Election gives students of all ages and their parents the opportunity to vote for the President, members of Congress from their own state and districts, and governors of their states when there is a contested race. A second ballot invites students to learn about and vote on the major issues, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and America's troubled economy. Another ballot invites a comparison of some of the country's most popular past presidents and lets students vote for the ones they would choose today if they were still with us.

Kirshner said the NSMPE began in 1980 with small groups of students and parents in 30 states. In 1982, 250,000 voters participated, in 1994, a total of two million, and the numbers have been increasing exponentially every since.

The final results of the mock election ballots will be posted on http://www.nationalmockelection.org.

About the National Student/Parent Mock Election:
The National Student/Parent Mock Election (NSPME) is the nation's oldest, largest and most successful voter-education project, dating from 1980. Since the first Mock Election in 1980, nearly 50 million young voters have cast their ballots and, in the process, discovered what it means to be an American citizen and the value of citizenship in our democracy. Every generation is invited to participate in the National Student/Parent Mock Election and to help "preserve and protect" our democracy. Partners for the 2008 National Student/Parent Mock Election include: USA Today, the Pearson Foundation, the National Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation, Declare Yourself, Strong American Schools, School Perceptions, Google, BrainPOP, the National PTA, the National School Boards Association, the National Council for the Social Studies, the American Association of School Administrators, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Student Councils, and the Council of the Great City Schools. The Election Assistance Commission and the Kaplan Foundation provide ongoing funding for the Mock Election. The collective contributions of all supporters help NSPME create a richer and more meaningful experience for students, parents and teachers. For more information, go to http://www.nationalmockelection.org .

Contact: kate.miller @ pearson.com - 800-745-8489

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