Thousands of students from grades 5-12 in New Jersey are participating in a mock election, generating a wealth of data on student political opinion. The past years have seen a grand total of over 100,000 votes cast by students across hundreds of schools.
Students will weigh in on the New Jersey general assembly seats, as well as four “yes or no” issue questions: whether the Electoral College should be abolished in favor of a direct popular vote; whether online voting should be made available in New Jersey; whether voting should be mandatory, and whether New Jersey’s primaries should implement a system of ranked voting.
After the votes are in, a team from Mapline will create maps that will plot a variety of different data for students and educators.
“We’re excited to work with the students and educators of New Jersey to bring their opinions to life and help them participate in the democratic process,” said Brady Anderson, Mapline’s founder. “Our mapping tools will allow students to interactively break down results, gaining a better understanding of the electoral process.”
Over 50 maps will be available as PDF downloads representing combinations of overarching variables: candidate, issue and grade level. Mapline’s segment and territory features will allow for color coding to easily differentiate votes.
In addition to the PDF maps, Mapline is also providing four aggregated maps to be embedded in the site that students and teachers can manipulate. These live, interactive maps will represent voting results across all grades by congressional district. A map will be dedicated to each candidate and issue variable.
Students and teachers can zoom in and out on these maps and can perform searches for specific cities or addresses to narrow down the data. This year’s mock election is supported by The Alice Paul Institute, N.J. Women Vote, and the New Jersey Historical Commission.
To learn more about the mock election and see results as they become available, visit njmockelection.org.