Essay Contest Announced as Student Mock Election Interest Climbs

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Children writing as their teacher watches over them

Tennessee's first ever statewide Student Mock Election is off to an amazing start. As of today, more than 170 schools across the state are registered to participate, meaning an estimated 76,000 students will do something most kids can't: vote for president of the United States.

Now the Secretary of State's office is also rolling out an essay contest to encourage students to be actively engaged citizens. Essays topics will be about voting and length requirements vary by grade. Schools may submit two essays at each grade range. Winners from each range will receive a TNStars 529 College Savings Program scholarship worth $100, $250 or $500 in addition to a trip to the State Capitol.

"The essay contest is yet another way for teachers to incorporate civics in their classrooms. I am proud so many educators see value in the Student Mock Election, and I am looking forward to seeing the hard work and creativity of our students through their essays," said Secretary of State Tre Hargett.

The essay contest is in addition to the mock election announced earlier this month.

Early voting for the mock election opens October 17 and results must be submitted by Mock Election Day, November 1. Mock presidential election results will be revealed on November 2, less than a week before the real general election. Students in preschool through high school from all public and private schools as well as home school associations in Tennessee can participate.

The program also offers lesson plans created by Tennessee teachers. The goal is to offer an easy way for teachers to incorporate civic engagement and citizenship into their curriculum leading up to the Student Mock Election.

For more information on the essay contest, the Student Mock Election or lesson plans visit: sos.tn.gov/civics