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VOTES 2016 Project
What is VOTES?
VOTES (Voting Opportunities for Teens in Every State), a nationwide mock election project for high school students, is celebrating its 28th anniversary.
The project, begun in 1988 by history teachers Jim Shea and Lorrie Byrom from Northfield Mount Hermon, includes teen voters from at least one public and one independent school in each state. For these teenagers, nearly all of whom will be eligible voters in the election of 2020, the project teaches the significance and the excitement of the democratic process.
This year's American election has captured the interest of people around the world, and VOTES 2016 promises to be an important educational program. Explore this website to learn more about the project. Project Director Jim Shea welcomes your questions. Contact him at email@example.com.
Schedule of Events
- September and October: On the NMH campus, numerous events will take place to educate and excite students about the upcoming election. Events include political speakers, campaign rallies organized by NMH students, formal political student debates in front of the entire school, an essay-writing contest, a political film series, and political exhibits in Schauffler Library.
- The week leading up to Tuesday, November 1: Participating VOTES schools across the country, including NMH, cast votes in mock elections at their schools for the presidential candidate of their choice.
- Tuesday, November 1: All VOTES schools election results are due to Jim Shea at NMH.
- Sunday, November 6: Simulated election-night coverage from James Gym at NMH. The 2016 VOTES Project results will be announced and streamed live over the Internet from 6:30 to 9 pm. A VOTES Project winner will be announced by 9 pm. VOTES election results from around the country will be announced by student anchors at VOTES election headquarters, James Gym at Northfield Mount Hermon in Gill, Massachusetts. The evening will feature reports, interviews, and political analysis done by NMH students from election headquarters. Live on-air coverage will be livestreamed and broadcast on WNMH, the campus radio station. Campaign music will be provided by the NMH Singers and the Jazz Band.
VOTES Fun Facts
- The VOTES Project was created on the NMH campus in 1988.
- About 100 NMH students play a direct role in the VOTES Project along with the 600+ NMH students who will cast votes in the mock election.
- About 130 high schools participated in the 2012 VOTES election.
- Thirty-five schools have participated in all seven previous VOTES mock elections.
- Over 50,000 teen votes are cast in each VOTES election.
- VOTES teen voters have picked the winner in six of the past seven elections.
- VOTES has been covered in USA Today, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, The Huffington Post, Forbes, The Denver Post, The Salt Lake Tribune, and National Public Radio, among other major news outlets.
- At least one public and one private school from each state participate in the project each year.
- VOTES Project teen voter turnout has averaged 77 percent across the nation since 1988.
- VOTES students from Northfield Mount Hermon have gone on to careers in national politics, polling, candidate advocacy, and law.
- Over the years, participating VOTES schools have been identified as some of the best high schools in the country and several have been listed on Newsweek's list of top schools as well as on the Department of Education’s list of “blue ribbon” schools.