Hold a Mock Election in your Program
The purpose of holding a mock election is to energize all eligible residents to vote and to give new voters practice in a simulated voting experience. In 2020, with a pandemic in progress, we can’t re-create the in-person voting experience. Instead, we hope this version of a mock election acquaints students with the ballot and supports them to knowledgeably fill it out — whether they are doing so in-person or by mail. For the 2020 mock election, we suggest these steps:
- So start by making sure your students know how to register to vote. This page shows New England states’ registration deadlines, as well as information about how to register. Live in a state outside New England? Find out more here rockthevote.org.
- We want the mock election to be a chance for students to practice filling out a close approximation of the real ballot. To create a ballot, go to Ballotpedia and enter your local address. The ballot that comes up will have your candidates for President, Congress, Governor, and local districts, and will also have your state ballot questions. You can save the ballot as a PDF and share it with your students, so they have a chance to study it and discuss it in class.
- Schedule your mock election over several days so that all classes have a chance to vote. In order to preserve mock voters’ anonymity, you’ll need to set up either a poll in your teaching platform or a survey, using an online survey tool.
- Hold your election! Add activities such as student presentations about their own voting experiences, what they’ve learned about voting/democracy, or why voting matters to them.
- Combine results from all the classes in your program and share the results. (We are not collecting New England-wide results this year.)
- Create a press release that shares results from your mock election and lets your local media outlets know that adult students plan to vote!
- After the election, discuss how your local tallies compare to the state and national election results and why that is.