LPS students to vote in mock election on Thursday
Lincoln Southeast student: "I really care that people, especially students, understand the importance of voting and continue to do it."
Lincoln Public Schools is holding a mock election on Thursday. Students from grades 4 to 12 will participate in the election, called Student Vote, which has been going in Lincoln Public Schools every two years since 1992.
“One of the reasons why it’s really important is because it gives students an opportunity at a young age to really kind of learn about the democratic process and being involved in voting,” Jaci Kellison.
Kellison is a K-12 social studies curriculum specialist for Lincoln Public Schools. She says that Student Vote is more than just a mock election.
““It’s both the Student Vote event itself and also an opportunity to teach about democracy and voting and how it works in our country,” Kellison said.
In a normal year, Lincoln Public Schools would have an in-person kick-off event for Student Vote. This year, Marielle Hinrichs, a junior at Lincoln Southeast put together promotional videos that featured elected officials, students, and community organizations in order to highlight the history of voting and its importance today.
“I was always interested in politics, asking questions about voting,” Hinrichs said. “I really care that people, especially students, understand the importance of voting and continue to do it.”
Using the Lancaster County Ballot as a guide, elementary and middle school students will vote for the president, as well as for Nebraska’s U.S. Senate and House of Representatives candidates. High school students will vote for those as well as the three gambling initiatives on the Nebraska ballot.
Students are provided with voting guides, which give biographical overviews for each candidate and links to the candidates’ websites.
“One of the cool things about Student Vote is that everyone comes from the same place in their classrooms when they vote and after you vote, regardless of who you picked, you’re still all students in the same situation learning the same material and I think that’s one of the best parts of it,” Hinrichs said.
Students will vote electronically today on their school laptops. The results will be announced on WFOR at 4 p.m. this afternoon and posted to the Lincoln Public Schools website shortly after.
“We want our students to really have an opportunity to think critically and we can do that through these times of processes,” Kellison said.
To learn more about Student Vote, click here.