(Photo by Pexels user Element5 Digital, used under a Creative Commons license)
In an election year like 2020, most kids are hearing about voting and the political process all the time — but are they learning how it’s all meant to work?
The League of Women Voters’ VOTE411 program recently launched a mock school board election for “Pea Patch Island School District,” coinciding with the 2020 school board elections in several Delaware school districts.
“[It’s] a way to engage kids — and their parents — in the political process and teach them about civic engagement and informed voting,” said Kim Wells, coordinator of the League’s 2020 Delaware VOTE411.
In June, Delaware VOTE411 put out a mock election announcement post on @vote411de on Facebook and @LWVDE on Twitter and Instagram. It featured a varied pool of four “candidates” most kids are familiar with from the movies: T’Challa (aka Black Panther), Simba of “The Lion King,” Elsa of “Frozen” and “Star Wars” villain Kylo Ren.
Announcing our Pea Patch Island mock election! Fun characters will run for school board. Voters will learn about VOTE411 and candidate evaluation skills. Visit https://t.co/KCEj72b5Uz to play along. Share with the young voters in your life! #VOTE411 #MockElection #VotePeaPatch pic.twitter.com/78ZJrrIFc5
— League of Women Voters of DE (@LWVDE) June 26, 2020
Interactive online events are planned over the next couple of weeks.
“We’re planning an online ‘candidate forum’ on Tuesday, July 14, moderated by the Delaware PTA,” said Wells. “The mock election will culminate in a virtual ‘election results watch party’ from 7 to 8 p.m. on Monday, July 20, the day before the real school board election, with interactive games, periodic vote count updates, and finally a victory speech by the winning campaign.”
To participate, go to go.lwvncc.org/votepeapatch and follow the instructions to access the voter’s guide for Delaware (you don’t have to input any private information; an address is provided), where you can read the “candidates'” backgrounds and experience and a brief Q&A on their platforms. Once selected, return to the form to vote. Before submitting your vote, there is a breakdown of the pros and cons of each candidate, which can be used as part of a conversation about critical analysis of political candidates.-30-
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