Iowa students get a taste of democracy with mock ballot measures

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September 1, 2010


Teenagers rarely get a chance to draft their own ballot measure for their fellow voters to decide on, if ever. That's about to change very Des Moines, Iowa at least.

A federal grant of $50,000 from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission will allow students in the five city high schools to conduct their own separate mock elections. Students in those schools will be able to vote on this year's races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House and state governor. However, in a twist to those mock elections, students will also be able to craft their own mock ballot measures for the student body to decide on during the October 12-13, 2010 event.[1]

According to Amber Graeber, humanities curriculum coordinator for Des Moines public schools, "It will be great to see all of the different ballot measures that come out and see what students at North care about, vs. the students at East or Roosevelt." Ballot measures are expected to range from the preservation of extracurricular activities to advanced classes. Campaigning will also be another dimension added to the mock elections, as students will be able to advertise the voting in school papers, and websites like Twitter and Facebok.

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