November 28, 2018

By Tamas Mondovics
Editor

In a recent press release, the office of the Tennessee Secretary of State announced that for the second time, the office has successfully sponsored the Student Mock Election. According to Secretary of State Tre Hargett, students from all three grand divisions of the state had cast their votes in the statewide races for Governor and U.S. Senate. These votes reflected who students would have elected as the next Governor and United States Senator of Tennessee if they were old enough to vote in the real election. More than 56,000 students from across the state participated in the 2018 Student Mock Election.

Hargett, along with Senator Brian Kelsey, and Representative Mark White participated in announcing the winners of the statewide Student Mock Election at an event hosted by Germantown Middle School in Shelby County, Tennessee. In the race for Governor, Bill Lee received 36,458 (65%) votes. Karl Dean received 20,012 (35%) votes. In the race for U.S. Senate, Marsha Blackburn received 31,507 (57%) votes. Phil Bredesen received 23,819 (43%) votes.

“The Student Mock Election is a fun and engaging exercise for students to participate in the election process,” Hargett said. “This is part of a larger effort to encourage civic involvement by students so it will be a natural progression for them to be involved when they become adults. I am very pleased with the participation from across the state and appreciate the teachers who worked hard to make this possible in the schools.”

Officials emphasized that the Mock Election was once again open to students in preschool through high school in public and private schools, as well as home school associations. Mock ballots allow students to choose between candidates from both the Republican and Democrat parties for the Gubernatorial and United  States Senate races. Schools are also provided with “I Voted” stickers for students that cast a vote in their mock election.Students also had the opportunity to enter an essay contest that encouraged them
to think about topics that are important to being an actively engaged citizen.

Essay topics were focused on leadership, but varied by grade. Schools had a chance to submit two essays per grade category. Winner of the essay contest will receive a TNStars 529 College Saving Program scholarship worth $100, $250, or $500 in addition to a trip to the State Capitol. The mission of the Tennessee Secretary of State is to exceed the expectations of its customers, the taxpayers, by operating at the highest levels of accuracy, cost-effectiveness and accountability in a customer-centered environment.