National Mock Election

World’s largest national mock election

accepting enrollees for 2014 midterms

The National Student/Parent Mock Election, founded in 1980, takes place

Oct. 30 and is expected to involve more than 1 million children, teens and

adults nationwide.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Schools and teachers nationwide are encouraged to

enroll now for the National Student/Parent Mock Election (NSPME), which has

helped introduce more than 50 million children, teens and adults to democracy

since 1980.

Coordinators who can help recruit and guide participating schools in their

designated state or region are also needed, according to NSPME organizers.

“The NSPME is fortunate to have the decades-long support of tens of thousands

of volunteers who are devoted, as we are, to ‘passing the torch’ of democracy,”

says Gloria Kirshner, co-founder of the NSPME. “We need even more of these

civic-minded volunteers to help us preserve and expand this great tradition of the

world’s largest national mock election.”

Every two years, 59 educational, civic, business and religious organizations join

with the NSPME to support the mock election. Participation is free to students and

teachers from kindergarten through college and technical schools, all of whom can

enroll through the NSPME website,

All participating classes receive free downloadable teachers’ guides, sample

student materials, and a mechanism to record votes, either online or by other


Teachers decide how to lead their classes in the national mock election beyond

voting. Projects have historically included art displays, debates, contests, plays,

songs, essay writing, visits from public officials, candidate forums, pep rallies and

other forms of school-wide celebrations.

Participants vote on governors, senators, congressional representatives, and

current issues. After the mock election, five national professional organizations join

to provide awards for outstanding projects by state, school, district and more.

Results of the mock election are posted online no more than 24 hours after

ballots are tallied. Sample ballots are available for practice several weeks before

the mock election.

Experts have recognized the NSPME and other voter education projects as

essential to young people’s healthy development. The University of Colorado, for

example, found in its research that the NSPME provided five broad benefits to

students: “Preserving Democracy for Generations to Come”

  • increased political decision-making ability
  • the belief that voting is important
  • informed involvement on current issues
  • the belief that social studies classes are relevant
  • the discussion of political and election topics with parents, and
  • a reduction in an overall sense of powerlessness.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals has also noted a

possible connection between participation in the NSPME and increased civic

engagement among young voters.

Pew Charitable Trust raises the possibility that voter education projects like the

NSPME may be one reason why the Millennial Generation is more politically active

than the previous Generation X.

And CIRCLE, a nonprofit group that researches information on civic education,

proclaims mock election projects like the NSPME to be “habit-forming.”

“When young people learn the voting process and vote, they are more likely to

do so when they are older, ‘ CIRCLE says on its website. “So getting young people

to vote early could be key in raising a new generation of voters.”

Schools that have lost social studies or civics classes because of budget or

curriculum cuts may find the NSPME a promising means to help fill the remaining

void of civics education, Kirshner points out.

NSPME’s outreach to national and state education organizations comes just as

the group embarks on several improvements intended to modernize and expand its

ability to inspire young voters. New plans include a modernized balloting system, a

physical presence in Washington, D.C., a new website, increased social media

outreach, and greater numbers participating than ever before.

Also in the works is a collaboration with VoterBuzz LLC, a start-up social

network and voter education website that aims to help the nonprofit become selffunded

in time for the 2016 election season.

Donations to the NSPME of any level or amount, from individuals or corporations

and including in-kind, are welcome. The NSPME also offers an attractive sponsor

package to those who share the group’s mission of promoting voting as the

strongest means to “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

For more information on becoming a coordinator, send an email to the National

Student/Parent Mock Election at To enroll your class or school,

go to

To inquire about media coverage, partnerships or sponsorships, contact

Christine Hawes at 941-780-3046 or Learn



Please note change in email address:


Robert “Joey” Wiseman Jr.

Assistant Director

Office of Secondary Learning

Instructional Materials

Social Studies

Building 6, Room 603

1900 Kanawha Boulevard East

Charleston, WV 25305-0330

304.558.5325 P

304.558.1834 F