Mock Election Ideas for High School

August 16, 2022

Education is not limited to plotting quadratic equations and reading comprehension exercises–it is meant to better prepare students for the world. A quality high school experience should help students become well-rounded members of society who are able to express their opinions and make decisions for the collective good. 

Holding mock elections in high school can help students do just that. Read on to learn more about why mock elections should take place in high school and how such elections are one of many ways to encourage increased voting among young adults. 

Why Should You Hold Mock Elections in Your High School?

Mock elections for representative bodies, such as presidential or congressional elections, can help students learn about democracy and develop essential voting values. There are many reasons to engage students in the democratic process, which include:

  1. Learning About National Politics

The most natural consequence of holding mock elections is knowledge about national, state, and local representative bodies. Students will learn the composition of these bodies, how representatives are elected to them, and the different parties that campaign. 

  1. Boosting Democratic Values

Participating in elections helps students learn about democracy and its importance. It also gives them the opportunity to participate in a process that impacts them directly. 

  1. Forming Individual Opinions

With multiple parties participating in elections, each one will have a different platform. This means students will have to evaluate ideas and perspectives to choose who to vote for, which helps students think critically and develop opinions. 

  1. Learning to Campaign 

From designing posters to arranging debates, campaigning involves numerous skills. Students can develop or improve their skills through designing campaign leaflets, writing speeches and presentations, and creating campaign videos. This helps students bring their beliefs into concrete form and learn how to advocate for ideas. 

  1. Learning to Debate

Debate is great for working on public speaking and critical thinking skills. Debate not only means expressing one’s ideas, but also evaluating the other side’s stance. In practicing arguments and counterarguments, students become trained in evaluating other perspectives and presenting ideas with confidence. 

  1. Getting Used to Voting

Voting is an important part of civic life. Through mock elections, students learn the importance of having their voice heard through voting. This should, ideally, translate into their life beyond school, making them more likely to vote in local, state, and national elections.

How to Conduct a Successful High School Mock Election

A mock election in your class or school can be an engaging activity that involves students, teachers, and other parties. As such, these elections can require significant effort and planning–here is how you can ensure a successful mock election at your high school:

Getting Started

  1. Teach your students about representative bodies and the electoral process.
  2. Have students conduct research on the branches of government, political parties, and political platforms.
  3. Invite a local, state, or national representative to your school to speak to students and answer questions. 
  4. Invite a local municipal clerk or registrar to explain the voting process.
  5. Show your students videos of celebrated speeches and debates and ask them to assess why they are noteworthy.
  6. Have students brainstorm about important issues on local, state, and national levels, and have them articulate their stance on these issues.
  7. Teach students about the activities and strategies involved in campaigning. 

Campaigning

  1. Evaluate the competencies and interests of the students and assign roles to them. Alternatively, ask students to talk amongst each other to decide their roles. This will give students more control over the process and teach them to resolve conflict.
  2. Encourage students to develop a political platform with well-defined and relevant campaign issues, depending on the level–school, local, state, or national–at which the mock elections are being held. 
  3. Encourage students to come up with campaign strategies with their groups.
  4. Assign a campaign budget to students, within which they must hold their campaigns. You can also give students the option to raise funds for their campaign.
  5. Support students in running the campaign by providing them with school resources, such as space for debates and necessary printing equipment. 

Holding the Vote

  1. Set a date and time for a vote, and help students responsible for the vote to make all necessary arrangements.
  2. Inform the students that they must first register to be able to vote, and encourage students responsible for the voting process to create a mechanism for registration.
  3. The vote can be held through an online voting website–this can help save resources and simplify the registration and counting process. If you’re looking for a website to vote on ideas, check out ElectionBuddy, which has options to virtually conduct a wide array of elections and easily keep track of votes.

Register for your own ElectionBuddy account and set up a free test vote! Feel free to reach out to the team at support@electionbuddy.com with any questions or explore ElectionBuddy’s Help Center.

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