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Election 2004: What is a Mock Election?

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What is a Mock Election?

A Mock Election is an effort to allow elementary, junior high and high school students an opportunity to actively participate in the political process by simulating actual elections in their schools. The Mock Election is designed to increase awareness and understanding of the election process, to encourage students and their parents to get involved in the process and, ultimately, to create a generation of responsible citizens.

The national organization of the Mock Election is coordinated by the National Student/Parent Mock Election, headquartered in Tucson, Arizona. The program is endorsed by both Republican and Democratic Parties as well as the U.S. Department of Education. Senator Orrin Hatch calls the Mock Election the "largest violence prevention project ever," in that "democracy is a means of nonviolent resolution of conflict." For more information, please visit the National Student/Parent Mock Election Web site at www.nationalmockelection.org.

Why should citizens vote?

Because your state and country need you!

Democracy is defined by Webster's Dictionary as "government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system."

For a democracy to continue, citizens need to participate and be heard. Not everyone in America takes advantage of their right to vote. Americans have the worst voting record among citizens of major democracies.

Young people have been particularly absent from fulfilling this civic responsibility. Since 1972, the percentage of 18-21 year olds who vote has been declining. By 1988, only one in three in this age group voted. Now less than 20 percent vote. A poll by Scholastic magazine showed that most high school students did not think voting is very important. What do you think? What can happen if more and more people decide not to vote?

Why have a Mock Election?

To give young people a hands-on opportunity to participate in elections, learn the democratic process and prepare themselves to be active citizens. The National Student/Parent Mock Election tells us that voter turnout among 18 to 24 year-old citizens is less than 20 percent. At best, 20 percent will vote by age 21, while 89 percent will drive a car.

Where can we find the results of the vote?

Utah's votes will be posted on www.mockelection.utah.gov and forwarded to the National Student/Parent Mock Election. A tally of votes from all states will be submitted to America Online for national publication Oct. 28.

Who can participate?

All young Utahns from kindergarten through high school.

How do schools sign up?

Schools can register to vote and find Mock Election instructions, teaching materials, ballots plus candidate and issues information at www.mockelection.utah.gov.

Who sponsors Utah's Mock Election?

The Utah Civic Education Partnership, Lt. Governor's Election Office, Deseret Morning News, Utah Education Network, Utah Congress of Parents and Teachers, Utah State Office of Education, Utah Law-Related Education, County Clerks, League of Women Voters, Davis School District.

Who can I contact with questions?

Norma Jean Remington, Utah Civic Education Partnership nremington@dsdmail.net or (801) 402-5328 or Mica McKinney, Voting Education Coordinator, Lt. Governor's Election Office mmckinney@utah.gov or (801) 538-1041.

The power of one

Many historical events were decided by one vote.

In 1645, ONE VOTE

gave Oliver Cromwell control of England.

In 1649, ONE VOTE

caused Charles I of England to be executed.

In 1776, ONE VOTE

gave America the English language instead of German.

In 1839, ONE VOTE

elected Marcus Norton Governor of Massachusetts.

In 1845, ONE VOTE

brought Texas into the Union.

In 1868, ONE VOTE

saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.

In 1876, ONE VOTE

made Rutherford B. Hayes President of the United States.

In 1924, ONE VOTE

gave Adolph Hitler control of the Nazi party.