Solution for Education: Create a New Generation of Engaged Citizens of New York City by Registering All Senior in Public Schools and Holding Mock Elections Using Sample Ballots at All Class Levels

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Issue: 
Education
Solution: 
Create a New Generation of Engaged Citizens of New York City by Registering All Senior in Public Schools and Holding Mock Elections Using Sample Ballots at All Class Levels
Explanation: 

New York State voter turnout is last or second to last in the nation depending on the election with many New Yorkers fealing disengaged or apathetic about politics.  With such low voter turnout elected officials are often left to their own devices.  Acording to Citizen's Union more legislators are leaving office after criminal or ethical misconduct rather than being voted out by voters.

We can create a new generation of young people who vote by getting them in the habit early.  Starting with when they get into a public school, they will vote every Election Day in a mock election at their school using the official paper ballot that would be used by someone living at the address of their school.  That would be almost a million children voting every year.  Not only would students graduate with the habit of voting every year for 12 years in a row, but they would also learn the importance of down ballot elections (especially in non-presidential years).  We would couple the mock elections with registration of the sixty to ninety thousand Seniors in High School turning 18 before December 31, 2012 of the year they graduate.

This campaign has already launched a pilot program in select New York City High Schools:

  • Part I: Voter Registration
    • Drop Off Voter Registration Forms at Schools prior to the Voter Registration Deadline
    • Distribute and Register All Seniors Turning 18 Before December 31, 2012 in Social Studies Class
    • Collect Voter Registration Forms the Day Before the Deadline for Delivery to NYC Boards of Elections
  • Part II: Mock Elections
    • Provide a Sample Printed Paper Ballot for Each Student from Board of Elections for Students based on Address of School to be Distributed in Social Studies Classes
    • Hold Mock Election on Election Day (or the day before if the school is closed on Election Day) with Ballot Boxes at School Exits
    • Elections Counted and Results Reported by Student Volunteers
  • Part III: Educational Program on Voting (Optional depending on Grade Level)

We hope to roll out the pilot to more schools by 2013.

Source: 
Benjamin Kallos, Candidate for City Council

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