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For Immediate Release
Students Prepare for October 30th
AUGUSTA--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky announced today that nearly 300 schools will be taking part in the Maine Mock Election that will be held on Wednesday, October 30, 2002. This event is part of the National Student/Parent Mock Election, a nonpartisan democracy education project that provides students in all 50 states an opportunity to cast ballots prior to this year's November 5th election.
Schools in all areas of the state have been preparing for Mock Election Day since September, with many teachers including information about candidates, the issues and the election process in their lesson plans. On October 30th, students will cast ballots at their school during the day and the results of the voting will be reported at Mock Election Headquarters in Bangor and Augusta from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
"This is an excellent opportunity to bring civics into the classroom by using current events. The Student/Parent Mock Election starts the conversation about voting with students in the classroom," Secretary Gwadosky continued. "Many times these discussions continue at the dinner table when the student goes home. Many parents, who otherwise would not vote, become interested in the electoral process because of the interest developed by their son or daughter, while those parents who already vote reinforce the lessons learned in the classroom," stated Secretary Gwadosky.
Over 300 students, representing 18 different schools, will run the headquarters and take results from nearly 300 schools participating in the voting. The Mock Election program simulates election night activities for students and allows for hands on learning experience. Students may participate in a number of events including a press conference, phone bank for receiving election results, tote board for posting results, and a variety of presentations.
For the mock election vote, schools have been provided with a modified ballot that includes the candidates for U.S. Senate, Governor, U.S. House of Representatives and the referendum questions. However, the emphasis of the Mock Election is education, not just election results.
Several guests have been invited to address the students at both locations during the afternoon and evening festivities. All candidates for Governor, U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives and the Maine Legislature have been invited to attend. A tentative list of attendees and schedule of events is attached. Members of the media are welcome to attend.
The Maine Mock Election, part of the Foster Youth Involvement program, is coordinated by Secretary Gwadosky in a partnership with the Bangor Daily News and the Kennebec Journal, along with the assistance of a steering committee of educators and democracy advocates. The type of activities conducted at each school prior to the election is left to the creativity and judgment of the local organizers.
For additional information regarding the Mock Election Night Activities or the participating schools, please contact the Office of the Secretary of State at 626-8406.