Student Voting Opportunities in Pennsylvania

The PNA Foundation encourages members to become more involved with youth voting initiatives. Below are resource links to many state and national websites that provide programming tools for engaging youth in the civic and voting process. Your participation in any youth voting initiatives for Pennsylvania elections is strongly encouraged.

Especially in 2016, as we near a crucial election in United States history, we invite you, your young readers and local educators to participate in the National Student Mock Election.  The Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation has partnered with the Pearson Foundation to bring this program to Pennsylvania.  For over 30 years, the National Student Mock Election has helped Pennsylvania students to discover the many ways they can strength their own personal freedoms.  Students can begin voting in October.  Ballots will include candidates for President, U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives as well as key national topic and social issues.

press release describing the program is available for your review and use.

  • The My Voice National Student Mock Election 
    The National Student Mock Election makes students aware of the power of their ballot by actively involving them in a national election.
  • Youth Leadership Initiative With the touch of a button, students leap into the world of politics through the civic education resources of the Youth Leadership Initiative. YLI jump-starts a lifetime of civic engagement for the next generation by creating innovative technology-based projects that bring the American democratic process to life in your classroom.
    • Internet Mock Election: Each fall, students vote online for real candidates and elections using state-of-the-art cyber ballots.
    • A More Perfect Union: Students manage a U.S. Senate campaign and try to win using strategic media, polling, scheduling and issue tactics.
    • e-Congress: YLI's e-Congress allows students to simulate the role of a representative in the United States Congress, by researching and drafting legislation, debating it in legislative committees and voting along with thousands of other students across the country. Students may also use the YLI Web site to connect with congressional leaders, to share ideas and request expertise, and to explore the role of interest groups in the legislative process.
    • YLI Lesson Plans: YLI offers a rigorous teacher-developed academic curriculum that is based on each state's unique academic standards in history, social studies.
  • Online Mock Election - Let Students Voice Their Choice
     Let Students Voice Their Choice is an excellent opportunity for PNA member newspapers to help teachers educate their students about democracy through a practical application of the election process online. The online student mock election event offers Pa. newsrooms an opportunity to connect with young readers and show them the value and relevance of newspapers to an issue that they care about passionately. What the project will do for your newspaper:
    1. Incorporate state academic standards for civic & government in all components of this endeavor
    2. Recruit 'participating' schools in your circulation area through an interest survey
    3. Select and provide supplemental materials to participating schools to support the voting and election process
    4. Connect newspapers and their participating schools online so that students have the opportunity to 'voice their choice' through a voting process
    5. Encourage student participation in the election and voting process through in-paper contests and activities
    6. Provide a calendar of election events to participating schools to increase readership an circulation
    7. Provide editorial staff with student contributions and the final analysis and results of the students' choices
  • If your newspaper has participated in youth voting initiatives in past elections, the Foundation wants to know about these programs and share your experiences with other member newspapers. We are asking for a brief description of your program including: program partners; which elections (presidential, gubernatorial, local) are included in your program; highlights or links to archived stories regarding your program(s). Email your information to the PNA Foundation.

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