FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2016
Indiana Kids’ Election to host gubernatorial town hall meeting for high schoolers
INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 25, 2016) – On Sept. 27, students across Indiana will get to watch gubernatorial candidates John Gregg (D), Eric Holcomb (R) and Rex Bell (L) participate in a town hall meeting at Lawrence North High School as part of Indiana Kids’ Election (IKE), an award-winning mock election program. Sponsored by the Indiana State Bar Association, Indiana Secretary of State and the Indiana Department of Education (DOE), IKE announced today that its teaming up with the Indiana Debate Commission (IDC) to organize this special event as a way to kick off the Commission’s official debate season this fall.
“In our state’s bicentennial year, it’s extremely fitting that Hoosier students statewide get to take advantage of this special opportunity afforded them through Indiana Kids’ Election,” ISBA President Carol M. Adinamis, Westfield, said. “This program demonstrates the legal community’s commitment to instilling the importance of voting in today’s youth.”
Prof. Laura Merrifield Albright of the University of Indianapolis will moderate the event. In addition to a select number of schools attending the town hall meeting in person, a live webcast will be made available to schools statewide through WFYI-TV. Questions submitted by students participating in IKE will be vetted by the Commission for use in the town hall meeting.
“Being involved in an event such as this is a new experience for the Debate Commission,” IDC President Dan Byron said. “We’re excited to be part of an event that helps young people better understand our democratic system of electing our top officials in government, and we’re pleased that the three candidates also recognize the opportunity.”
On Nov. 8, students across Indiana will elect their own governor, president and senator in a show of active citizenship through IKE, which is based on the premise that voting is only occasionally done by inspiration but more often done by habit. With its special emphasis on encouraging students to develop one’s voting habit at an early age, IKE attempts to emulate the election process as closely as possible. Statewide, students participate in voting milestones such as registering to vote on or before Tuesday, Oct. 11, and casting a ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 8 – just like their parents!
Also, under Indiana law, schools are required to give instruction on the election process two weeks preceding a general election for all students in grades 6-12. IKE, where the voting age is lowered to 5, helps Indiana schools meet this requirement by providing comprehensive curriculum guides, free of charge, to participating schools. The curriculum meets current state academic standards as approved by the Indiana Department of Education.
“Voting is one of the most important things a person can do in their lifetime,” Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said. “Every vote matters. Getting kids interested in elections at an early age and giving them a way to express their opinions is something that will build a stronger future.”
“The Indiana Department of Education is pleased that Indiana students can participate in this debate during our bicentennial year,” DOE Social Studies Specialist Bruce Blomberg said. “This is a great opportunity for students to better understand civic responsibility and the election process.”
The Indiana Bicentennial Commission has approved Indiana Kids’ Election as an official 2016 Bicentennial Legacy Project.
This program is funded in part by the Indiana Bar Foundation.
Media Contact: Carissa Long, Director of Public Relations, ISBA, 800.266.2581, email@example.com