Kids Voting USA is a national, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that works with more than 4.5 million K-12 students in civic education and citizenship with a particular focus and a national standard based curriculum that promotes informed voting, technology and media literacy, and service learning and community engagement.
Kids Voting USA – Wisconsin/Marathon County is part of a national network of community-based affiliates in 19 different states that partner with schools and election officials. It is a combination of classroom instruction, family dialogue, and an authentic voting experience that makes Kids Voting USA a powerful strategy for achieving long-term change in voting behavior. This ongoing education develops strong skills and habits for living in a democracy. After classroom preparation, students take part in a voting experience using a ballot that mirrors that of the adults with the same candidates and issues. This “real life” practice dispels the mysteries of the voting process and reinforces the knowledge and skills gained through Kids Voting classroom activities.
In the spring of 2012, Kids Voting USA – Wisconsin/Marathon County conducted its first ever mock political convention. Over 25 area high schools sent delegations to the University of Wisconsin – Marathon County campus to participate in their own national political convention for both the Democratic and Republican parties. The delegates nominated one student from each convention as the presidential candidate and selected one student from each convention as the vice presidential running mate. The delegates also adopted a party platform. State and national party leaders addressed the delegates, and members of the media conducted a debate with the presidential candidates. Kids Voting USA – Wisconsin/Marathon County will continue to hold a mock political convention in each presidential and gubernatorial election year. This educational experience provides a unique opportunity for local high school students to understand the democratic process and encourages them participate in our democracy as future leaders and voters.