Mock Elections at Public Schools Pilot LaunchedSubmitted by nicole sundell on Mon, 11/03/2014 - 11:58am
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2014
SAndersBenKallos [dot] com
Mock Elections at Public Schools Pilot Launched
New York, NY– Today, Fifth Grade Students from PS290, in partnership with the office of City Council Member Ben Kallos, took part in a mock election in advance of tomorrow’s election. New York City has one of the lowest turn-out rates in the nation. In the 2013 general election, a mere 24 percent of registered New York City voters cast a ballot. There are 1.1 million public school children in New York City and 4.3 million registered New York City voters. Studies show that increased civic participation through activities like mock voting increase engagement and participation later in life.
The students received a lesson on civics, voting and the candidates and offices. Then, they filled out their own printed ballots in order to absorb the value of voting and to practice. The students used their arithmetic skills to tally the votes and then discussed the results as a class.
Council Member Kallos plans to expand mock voting to schools district-wide next year. He has also championed a “Vote with Kids” initiative, encouraging parents to bring their children with them to vote.
“Imagine if our public school students in New York City spent from first grade through graduation getting in the good habit of voting. If they had mock votes every year for 12 years, 18-30 year old public school graduates would vote in higher numbers than almost any other bloc,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “This would also result in the kind of investment in our public schools that New York City so desperately needs.”
“We are very happy that City Council Member Ben Kallos is taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to our 5th graders about the democratic process and voting. It is important for our young students to understand the power of having the right to vote and of being an informed voter,” said Doreen Esposito, Interim Acting Principal at PS290.