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Mock Election FAQ

1. What is the PA Youth Vote Mock Election?

This is a nonpartisan, educational event that teaches kids to be informed voters. All 9-12 students in Pennsylvania are welcome to participate! 

2. Who is running the Mock Election?

The Mock Election is organized by The Committee of Seventy and PA Youth Vote, two nonpartisan, nonprofit groups dedicated to improving government and civic engagement.  

3. What is on the students' ballot? 

Students vote on real ballot measures, on real candidates, and real paper in the Mock Election. The first page of the ballot are the statewide races for governor, lieutenant overnor, and U.S. senator. Because this is a primary election, student will choose whether to vote in the Democratic or Republican Party elections.  The second page of the ballot will be customizable to local US House and state legislative races in your area. We also provide an alternative ballot where students can vote on customizable questions that matter to your students. 

4. How do students cast their votes?

Students will vote on paper or online ballots. Teachers can print the paper ballots or use the online ballot template that we'll provide once you register. Classrooms may modify parts of their ballot to add local races and custom ballot questions. Once students cast their ballots, teachers will upload the raw vote totals to the Google Form that we'll provide for reporting results. To be counted, all vote totals must be reported to this form by 4pm on Tues, May 10th.

5. Do students need to pre-register?

No pre-registration is necessary for students. Teachers will register their classroom and/or school.

6. What will teachers receive when they register?

C70 and PA Youth Vote will email all teachers who register a toolkit that contains: (1) a digital file of the paper ballot that can be printed; (2) the link to an online ballot template, if printing the ballot is not feasible; (3) the link to online voter guides that students can use to see what candidate and issues are on their ballot; (4) instructions on how to report their class or school results; (5) a press release template for teachers to use to share the results of their school's vote with local media outlets; (6) links to an extensive state-aligned Elections & Voting curriculum; and (7) promotional materials.

7. Does it cost anything to participate?

No. Participation is free.

8. Who can participate in the Mock Election?

Voting is open to all Pennsylvania students in grades 9-12.

9. How will the Mock Election results be displayed?

Tally and report your results as part of your lesson. We ask teachers to report their school's results by 4pm on May 10th. Statewide results will be displayed on the Committee of Seventy and PA Youth Vote websites and shared with the media. We encourage teachers to share their school and statewide results with their community and local media.

10. How can I teach the Mock Election in my classroom? 

To prepare for voting, teachers are encouraged to check out the PA Youth Vote & School District of Philadelphia's Elections and Voting Curriculum Unit. Topic 4: "Make a Plan to Vote" (pp. 12-17), and Topic 5: "Researching the Candidates and Making Your Ballot" (pp. 17-21). Teachers should ask students to prepare to vote by mail or in person, and to use both partisan and nonpartisan sources of information to create a "cheat sheet" to bring to the polls and share as informed voters.

11. Do I have to use the curriculum to conduct the Mock Election?

You do not! You can pick and choose which parts of the curriculum to use. The items noted in Question 10 will be helpful, however.