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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
August 27, 2020

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and High School and Middle School Principals:

2020 California Student Mock Election: Register Your School Today!

The 2020 Presidential General Election is quickly approaching, and it is once again time to get students involved and excited about civic engagement. This election offers additional opportunities for school and student involvement, given the unique context of COVID-19 and heightened awareness of systemic inequities. The California Secretary of State and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction are partnering to host the 2020 California Student Mock Election on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.

School registration for the 2020 California Student Mock Election opened on May 29, 2020. This important program helps young people discover the importance of elections and the power of their votes in the democratic process. This year, the 2020 California Student Mock Election builds on the excitement of a Presidential Election by giving high school and middle school students a chance to cast their mock vote for the candidate they want to be our next President. Once all the votes are counted, students will be able to compare their votes to those of their peers at schools from across the state.

We strongly encourage you to incorporate this great program into your schedule to the extent possible given changes caused by COVID-19. Registration for the 2020 California Student Mock Election can be found on the Secretary of State California Student Mock Election web page at http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/student-mock-election/. Here, you will be able to register your school and obtain digital resources for holding a successful mock election. Please note that only one registration is allowed per school. If you and your colleagues would like to participate, please be sure to collaborate and select the Mock Election Coordinator for your school.

Digital supplies for conducting a well-run student mock election, including Student Voter Information Guides, ballots, posters, “I Voted” sticker templates, and other materials, will be available on the Mock Election web page. Please visit the Secretary of State Tools for Success web page at https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/student-mock-election/tools-success/ to access the supply kit in electronic format. Schools that register by September 16, 2020, and would like to receive a supply kit in the mail may request one by e-mailing MyVote@sos.ca.gov.

In addition to the materials already listed, the 2020 California Student Mock Election web page contains a collection of standards-based lesson plans designed to engage students and share ideas that other schools have used as part of their California Student Mock Election activities.

Another way to get students excited about civic engagement this year is to help students host an online voter registration drive for your school. In California, pre-registration is available to eligible sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds. California youth who pre-register to vote will have their registration become active once they turn eighteen. Students can pre-register online at the California Secretary of State Online Voter Registration web page at https://registertovote.ca.gov/. To obtain a supply of voter registration cards, please contact our outreach team at MyVote@sos.ca.gov. For more information about pre-registration and the Secretary of State's other youth initiatives, please visit the Secretary of State High School and Youth Initiatives web page at https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/high-school-programs/.

Through your school’s involvement, students will discover how government and politics affect their lives. They will gain firsthand knowledge of how citizens make their voices heard in our democracy and experience the power of their votes. Together, we can inspire a new generation to become more active in the political process.

If you have any questions about the 2020 California Student Mock Election or other civic engagement opportunities, please contact the Student Mock Election Team at 916-651-3070 or MyVote@sos.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Alex Padilla
California Secretary of State                     

TT/AP:df

Last Reviewed: Thursday, August 27, 2020

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