Kids Voting participants mirror presidential, most state election results

Kids Voting 2012

Students at Maplewood-Richmond Heights Middle School participate Nov. 6 in the Kids Voting Missouri mock election.

Political analysts could have used Missouri kids to predict most of Tuesday’s presidential and statewide elections. With 420 schools participating in Kids Voting Missouri this year, student voters mirrored that of U.S. registered voters in selecting to re-elect President Barack Obama and other incumbents throughout the state.

Through Kids Voting Missouri, which is administered by the Center for Character and Citizenship in the College of Education at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, nearly 151,000 K-12 student voters, like their older counterparts, chose Claire McCaskill for U.S. Senate, Jay Nixon for Missouri governor, Jason Kander for Missouri secretary of state, Chris Koster for Missouri attorney general and Clint Zweifel for Missouri state treasurer. The student voters only disagreed with registered voters on their selection of Missouri lieutenant governor and Proposition B. Kids Voting participants voted for Susan Montee as lieutenant governor and approved Prop B, which called for a 73-cent tax increase on a pack of cigarettes.

Sandy Diamond is the program director for Kids Voting Missouri. She has facilitated the program through UMSL for 14 years, growing it from four participating districts to 29 public school districts, two Special School District schools, four private schools and several charter schools. Many school districts have been in the program since the 2000 election.

It’s a lot of work, but getting into the schools makes my eyes light up because the kids are so excited to be a part of the process,” Diamond said. “It’s just amazing to watch them; the energy and excitement they have about the process of democracy and learning the importance of citizenship touches my heart.”

Diamond said that while many Americans still do not register and vote, research shows that mock elections, like Kids Voting Missouri, have a positive impact on future voters.

“They say young people don’t vote, but I’m positive that our program is helping to change that,” she said. “We are creating future voters that are informed and empowered citizens.”

Kids Voting Missouri is an affiliate of Kids Voting USA, a national nonpartisan program that teaches K-12 students the responsibilities of effective, informed citizenship and civic engagement. The program is administered by UMSL through the Center for Character and Citizenship and under the direction of the center’s co-director, Wolfgang Althof, the Teresa M. Fischer Endowed Professor of Citizenship Education at UMSL.

Visit kidsvotingmissouri.org for a complete list of election results and participating schools.


Short URL: http://blogs.umsl.edu/news/?p=31771