For Immediate Release
October 22, 2004
Contact: Doug Dunbar
Secretary of State Highlights Upcoming
Maine Student Mock Election
AUGUSTA, MAINE – Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky announced on Friday that more than 400 schools will take part in Maine’s Student Mock Election on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 . 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 2nd General Election.
Schools throughout Maine have been preparing for Student Mock Election Day since September. On October 26th, students will cast ballots at their school during the day and the results will be reported to the Student Mock Election Headquarters in Bangor and Augusta from 4:00-8:00 in the evening. More than 500 students are expected to visit the Student Headquarters. Many will actively participate by taking results from schools, introducing candidates and guest speakers, tabulating election returns and making presentations.
“The Student Mock Election gives young people a chance to learn a great deal about democracy, and starts a conversation about voting in the classroom,” Secretary Gwadosky commented. “Those discussions often continue at the dinner table when the student goes home. Some parents, who otherwise might not vote, become engaged 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.”
The Secretary of State’s office has provided Student Mock Election materials to participating schools. Voting will be conducted for President, U.S. House of Representatives and citizen initiative ballot questions. Although results will be made available, the emphasis of the Student Mock Election is civics education.
Several guests have been invited to address the students during the afternoon and evening festivities. Governor John Baldacci is expected to attend, as well as members of Maine’s Congressional delegation. Candidates for U.S. House of Representatives have also been invited.
The Maine Student Mock Election is coordinated by Secretary Gwadosky in 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.
Schools may still register to participate. For additional information about the Student Mock Election or the October 26th Headquarters Event, please contact the Secretary of State’s office in Augusta at 626-8406, or visit www.maine.gov/sos/kids/mockelection.