WA students can vote in PrezPrimary Mock Election

WA students can vote in PrezPrimary Mock Election

2012 Mock Election photo

While Washington voters will have until May 24 to fill out and return their Presidential Primary ballots, thousands of students in grades K-12 soon will have their own chance to experience voting by taking part in a special Presidential Primary Mock Election.

The Mock Election lets students experience “voting” for presidential candidates. Sponsored by the Office of Secretary of State, the Mock Election is a nonpartisan educational program that teaches kids to be informed voters.

Like the regular Student Mock Election held each fall before the statewide General Election, the Presidential Primary Mock Election is free and open to all Washington K-12 students who attend public, private or tribal school or are homeschooled. Voting takes place online, starting May 16 at 9 a.m. and ending May 20 at 1 p.m.

Students can vote by going to the Presidential Primary Mock Election website here. Students who participate will receive free “I Voted!” stickers from their teachers.

Students can choose among these presidential candidates who are on the Presidential Primary ballot that Washington’s registered voters recently received: Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, or Republicans Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Donald Trump. Cruz and Kasich suspended their campaigns earlier this month, long after ballots were printed. Carson did not submit a signed form withdrawing from the Washington Presidential Primary, even though he dropped out of the race in early March, so his name is on the ballot for both the Presidential Primary and the Mock Election.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman said the Mock Election gives students a taste of what it’s like to help choose America’s next president during the primary process:

“This year has been one of the most interesting and closely watched presidential campaigns we’ve seen in many years. This Mock Election is a great way to introduce students to voting and let them vote for their favorite presidential candidate. It’s important that Washington students develop the skills and interest to fully engage in our democracy. Voting is a key part of that.”

Wyman said one reason why the Mock Election is fun is it allows everyone to compare students’ voting results with how adults vote later.

Results will be posted online for the state and by school on the Elections Division webpage immediately after the Mock Election ends May 20.

Nearly 130,000 students have voted in Washington’s annual Mock Election each fall since 2004.

For additional information about the Mock Election, contact Jackie Wheeler in the Elections Division at (360) 902-4143 or [email protected]

Wheeler says free resources are available for teachers, including the curriculum book Teaching Elections in Washington State. The lessons offered in the curriculum book are for grades K-12, meet state and Common Core standards, and satisfy the civics coursework for graduation. OSPI-developed classroom-based assessments are provided with each lesson.

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