Secretary of State
Over 100,000 Students Participate in Kentucky Student Mock Election
(Frankfort, KY) Students across the Commonwealth are choosing both Democrats and Republicans to send to Washington. Over 100,000 students in elementary, middle, and high schools across the Commonwealth went to the polls this week to vote for their favorite candidates for President, Congress, and to voice their opinion on the most important issue facing our country. Most notably, students selected John McCain for President of the United States and Mitch McConnell for Kentucky’s next U.S. Senator. Over 300 schools participated in the National Student Parent Mock Election, coordinated by Secretary of State Trey Grayson.
“It is essential that students become acclimated to the democratic process, and there is no better way than for them to participate in the process themselves,” stated Secretary Grayson. “We hope that this will begin a lifelong commitment to voting among these young people.”
This project is an exceptional tool for confronting, and in many cases, reversing the disturbing voting trends in the 18-24 year old demographic. Engaging students with the core principles of democracy fosters an important behavior that many will carry far beyond the classroom.
The following are the statewide results of the mock election:
United States President:
John McCain/Sarah Palin (Republican) – 48.6%
Barack Obama/Joe Biden (Democrat) – 47.0%
Ralph Nader/Matt Gonzalez (Independent) – 3.1%
Chuck Baldwin/Robert Thornsberry (Constitution) – 0.6%
Bob Barr/Wayne Root (Libertarian) – 0.8%
United States Senator
Mitch McConnell (R) – 52.8%
Bruce Lunsford (D) – 47.2%
United States Representative, 1st Congressional District:
Edward Whitfield (R) – 56.5%
Heather A. Ryan (D) – 43.5%
United States Representative, 2nd Congressional District:
S. Brett Guthrie (R) – 48.0%
David Boswell (D) – 52.0%
United States Representative, 3rd Congressional District:
Anne M. Northup (R) – 38.1%
John Yarmuth (D) – 57.1%
United States Representative, 4th Congressional District:
Geoff Davis (R) – 57.0%
Michael Kelley (D) – 43.0%
United States Representative, 5th Congressional District:
Harold “Hal” Rogers (R) – 68.1%
Jim Holbert (I) – 31.9%
United States Representative, 6th Congressional District:
Jon Larson (R) – 39.3%
Ben Chandler (D) – 60.7%
Of the issues listed below, which issue do you feel is the most important one our country is facing today:
Economy – 48.1%
Energy Crisis – 9.0%
Healthcare Quality and Costs – 13.6%
Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – 20.7%
Other Issues – 8.5%
For results from individuals schools, please visit: www.sos.ky.gov/mockelection.
This is third and final mock election for the Office of the Secretary of State. The first, held with Kentucky Governor’s Scholars, saw John McCain win the race for President by 2.5%. The second election, held with college students across the Commonwealth, saw Barack Obama win by 11.1% and Mitch McConnell win by 1.4% of the vote. During these mock elections, the Office of the Secretary of State registered nearly a thousand students to vote.
The results of this mock election will represent Kentucky’s votes in the National Student/Parent Mock Election. The National Student/Parent Mock Election seeks to turn the sense of powerlessness that keeps young Americans and their parents from going to the polls into a sense of the power of participation in our democracy. The National Student/Parent Mock Election receives support from numerous organizations, including the National Parent Teachers Association, the National School Boards Association, the National Council for the Social Studies, the American Association of School Administrators, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Council of the Great City Schools. The Election Assistance Commission and the Kaplan Foundation provide ongoing funding for the Mock Election.
Kentucky’s mock election was selected as one of three mock elections in the country to receive funding from the Election Assistance Commission. The grant allowed the office to expand its efforts to reach more students across the Commonwealth. Without the grant, the deep state budget cuts threatened to cancel this year’s mock election. Kentucky has hosted a mock election for every general election since Secretary Grayson assumed office in 2004.
Grayson directs the Civic Literacy Initiative of Kentucky (CLIK), a multi-year effort that will determine a strategy for enhancing long-term civic engagement and civic literacy within the Commonwealth. As part of that effort, he released a report, Rediscovering Democracy: An Agenda for Action, that calls upon the state to take tangible steps to increase civic literacy. The report, which details four principle recommendations and scores of additional recommendations, was developed from the work of the Kentucky Workgroup on Civic Literacy and the CLIK.
A focus of the report is increased technology in order to further engage students in the political process. Grayson’s office has an international, award-winning website with increased online election services so that information is readily available for Kentucky citizens 24 hours-a-day/7 days-a-week. Grayson is also a pioneer in using popular mediums such as Facebook to make the political system more approachable to young people.
“By involving students in the democratic process, we wish to not only energize young people to vote, but to also remind their family and friends about the importance of voting on November 4, 2008,” said Secretary Grayson.
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