Students Voting is THE statewide mock election program.
We are excited to announce the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State and the YMCA Center for Youth Voice are working together again in 2024 to help students statewide discover the importance of elections and the power of their voice – and their vote – in our democracy .
Students Voting gives teachers at all grade levels the tools and resources to expose their students to a comprehensive voting experience that includes learning about candidates and issues, voter registration, and casting a ballot on or before Election day.
"Thanks for running this program. Last time it was very helpful for my students to see that students from other schools from around the state saw the election and the world differently than they did." -John
"We have been working with the students voting program for a number of years. AND we're already signed up for next year. It's an interesting program, and I think for my "greater Minnesota" kids, the data we have access to, afterwards that allows them to compare themselves to "The Cities" and other regions of the State have been impactful. It promotes educated voting, and isn't that what we want too?" -Matt
2024 will be a big election year with the Presidential race, US Senate and House races, and more! Civic participation is a core Minnesota value, and Students Voting is a great opportunity to get good habits started early with soon-to-be voters. That is why this statewide mock election will return in fall of 2024. What do participants get?
How it works
1. register your school to participate
When registering, select a contact person for your school who will help coordinate the mock election. Any group or individual can be responsible for coordinating the mock election, whether it’s student government, a teacher, a student group, or a committee of students, teachers and parents. Whatever you decide, we’ll need one contact person to receive updates and provide our office with vote totals after the election.
2. Decide how your election will work.
Voting can take place in one central location, in individual classrooms, or something entirely different. Each school has unique needs and you have the flexibility to carry out your mock election as you see fit. Students Voting partners with Ballot Ready to supply unbiased candidate information, office descriptions, and a fun, informative dashboard of the results of the mock election. Want more? Publicly available resources like Learning Law and Democracy Foundation’s civics lesson finder, iCivics, and much more are there for you to use if you wish. You might incorporate lessons and activities such as holding a student debate, creating campaign materials, political cartoons, or propaganda. Encourage learning beyond a presentation with discussions about why voting matters, how to evaluate media information about candidates, how to hold civil conversations about challenging topics, and other essential civic skills. WE ARE HERE TO HELP!
3. Receive your materials in October.
Schools that sign up in time will receive materials, including a customized mock election ballot (emailed), and tabletop voting booths, ballot boxes, and “I voted” stickers by mail. Later-registering schools will only receive the electronic version of the customized ballot by email.
4. Vote early or on Election Day.
If it's better for you, early voting (just like Minnesota voters get to do) is an option.
5. Report your results by Tuesday, November 5.
To be included in the official results, we’ll need your vote tallies no later than Election Day at 5 p.m. (Parents/guardians and civic organizations can be wonderful poll workers to help tally the votes.)
6. View statewide results on Wednesday, November 6.
Share the results with your students and have a discussion about what they mean. Explore the demographic differences and similarities school to school and regionally. Connect with other participating schools for combined video-conference discussions or activities. The learning doesn't stop after the polls close.
Is Students Voting only for high school students?
NO! Any school can participate! It is never too early to learn about civics, elections, and the power of your voice! Ask us about how to best approach voting and the election for your school’s grade levels.
Do other states hold mock elections?
Yes, many Secretary of State offices offer statewide mock elections for students. For example:
Can our school vote before Election Day?
Most Students Voting schools will hold their elections on Tuesday, November 5th, but each school is free to offer early voting. In any case, each school submits all of their school’s results at one time. School choice and customization is at the heart of Students Voting. No matter when they hold their election, every school will still have access to all Students Voting materials and resources.
How many races will the ballot have on it?
Students Voting schools receive a customized ballot PDF which looks just like the real ballot, but includes only the races and ballot questions you request.
WHO DO I ASK IF I HAVE QUESTIONS? CLICK HERE!
489 schools signed up for Students Voting 2022, and we expect even more this year!
We hope you will join us in 2024.