Young People Cast Their Vote in World’s Largest Student Mock Election

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My Voice National Student Mock Election gives students a voice and vote President Barack Obama for a second term

Today, the Pearson Foundation announced the preliminary results of the My Voice™ National Student Mock Election, the nation’s largest student-driven civics project, which invites students to take part in the election. President Barack Obama emerged as the students’ presidential choice receiving 85.5% of the electoral votes and Governor Mitt Romney receiving 14.5%.

Since 1980, students in classrooms across the United States have been voting for President, their members of Congress and governors. For the first time, voting in the National Student Mock Election was an entirely digital experience. The voters in the battle ground states of Florida, Colorado, Ohio and Virginia all favored President Obama.

The My Voice National Student Mock Election also allowed students to take part in opinion polls during the lead up to the election at http://www.nationalmockelection.org/polls and to vote on the national issues that concern them.

As a celebration of democracy and civic responsibility, the National Student Mock Election allows classrooms across the country to learn about civic engagement and what it means to be an informed voter. Students participated in their own debates, engaged in campaigning, held student rallies and some even did this entirely online. Students and teachers have shared their mock election activities at myvoicemyelection.org/celebrate and have shared their views on the importance of these classroom projects.

“The most important thing about the mock debate was to make students aware and understand politics,” said Casey, a Michigan high school junior. “This was to convince students to tell their parents to vote and get interested in voting in our mock election. We hope that students really wanted to vote for real, even though most can’t. We hope students will become more active in government and want to learn more about the candidates rather than voting blindly or not voting at all.”

“At the beginning of the debate project, it seemed like a lot of extra work being piled onto my studies,” said Jonathan, another Michigan high school junior “But as the project progressed, I found myself becoming more and more interested in the effects of politics and government on my life. I also learned about the differences in political philosophies felt by the presidential candidates and how their views would affect many aspects on how the American citizen would live their lives. When I turn 18, it is my responsibility to vote because we need to express the fact that this is a representative democracy and we have the power to vote for who leads our country.”

My Voice, a digital initiative from the Pearson Foundation, encourages student voice throughout the year, and supports many ways to use students’ opinions of the world at school and in every day life. By working in 2012 with the National Student/Parent Mock Election, the Pearson Foundation has connected My Voice to the United States’ longest standing student mock election, which across presidential elections over the past three decades has allowed more than 50 million young voters to cast their ballots.

“This is the first generation born into the digital age, the first with the power to share what it means to be a free American with their peers all around the globe, the first with the power to spread the ideals of democracy anywhere they wish,” said National Student/Parent Mock Election President Gloria Kirshner. “I hope all the dedicated educators who have been working with us on the Mock Election will go forward with us now on My Voice. Let us empower our children to find their voice, the voice of democracy, and in so doing, find their strength.”

“The Pearson Foundation believes that the student voice is one of the greatest assets we have and the My Voice National Student Mock Election provides a platform for youth to get engaged,” said Pearson Foundation President and CEO Mark Nieker. “The engagement around this year’s election shows that young people are eager to have a voice in the issues that shape their communities. Thanks to My Voice, their involvement will not end after Election Day. We will continue to listen through a dialog with classrooms across the United States.”

“Even though most of the students in California are not old enough to cast a real ballot this year, they gained real insights and deeper understanding of our democracy by taking part in the mock election,” said Secretary Bowen, California’s chief elections officer. “The students researched the issues and candidates, debated with each other, and then voted on ballots just like many of their older family members.”

Congressional race results from the National Student Mock Election will be reported in the coming days. For more information, and to view final Presidential results visit http://www.nationalmockelection.org. Follow us on Twitter @MyMockElection, #MyElection, like us on Facebook.com/NationalMockElection and share videos at http://www.schooltube.com/channel/nationalmockelection.

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About the My Voice™ National Student Mock Election
This year, the Pearson Foundation is combining two great initiatives to involve U.S. students before, during, and after fall’s national election with a new program, the My Voice™ National Student Mock Election. The My Voice National Student Mock Election builds on the rich history of the National Student/Parent Mock Election, the country’s largest civic engagement project, which reached more than 5 million students in 2008, and on My Voice, the leading name in student voice. This single project will engage students, parents, and educators all year long.

About the Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, extends Pearson’s commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at http://www.pearsonfoundation.org.

Media Contact:
Stacey Finkel, Stacey.finkel(at)pearsonfoundation(dot)org, 703.304.1377

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Stacey Finkel
stacey.finkel@pearsonfoundation.org
703-304-1377
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