As we get closer to the general election in November, teachers are asking how they might approach the election with their students. One method, of course, is through a mock election, and the Lou Frey Institute (parent organization of the FJCC) has partnered with the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections and the Florida Association of Social Studies Supervisors to launch a new mock election platform. The message below has been sent to folks across the state of Florida by the executive director of the Lou Frey Institute, Dr. Doug Dobson.
As you may know, LFI/FJCC has hosted a statewide online Mock Election for Florida students in each election cycle since 2008. To support those Mock Elections, we have used our own web-based voting platform, known as the Florida Student Mock Election, and have worked closely with the Florida Association of Social Studies Supervisors to involve teachers. Our collective goal has been to provide a voting education opportunity for as many students as possible. From 2008 through 2014, we provided Florida’s Mock Election vote totals to the National Student/Parent Mock Election (NSPME) so that they could be counted in their national totals. We also included their curricular materials among those that we made available to Florida teachers.
A little over a year ago, the Supervisors of Elections (SoEs) provided the Institute with a significant opportunity to form a long-term, statewide partnership; one that has the prospect of engaging larger numbers of students in Mock Elections and simultaneously strengthening voter education relationships between schools and SoEs. A significant number of SoEs had previous experience with a web-based voting platform known as DoubleClick Democracy, supported by KidsVoting USA. As we formed a partnership, they asked that we mothball our voting platform, establish a formal agreement with KidsVoting USA and offer DoubleClick Democracy to schools and SoEs throughout the state. We have done this. Since NSPME and KidsVoting do not generally collaborate, we terminated our informal relationship with NSPME.
At the moment, we, the Florida Association of Social Studies Supervisors and the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections are moving forward to enroll schools in every region of the state. We are also forging new relationships between SoEs and schools. We are all optimistic that we will see increased student participation in the 2016 Florida Student Mock Election along with continuing school-based voter education programs. You can review our plan at http://floridacitizen.org/resources/florida-student-mock-election.
I hope that you will support our collaborative efforts by encouraging schools throughout the state to participate in The Florida Student Mock Election.
Questions about the new mock election that will be launching shortly can be directed to me or to Dr. Dobson. We are excited about this new partnership and platform, and hope that you and your teachers and students will consider taking part!