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Scholastic Presidential Mock Election Unfair

Here is a recent Nader piece on the subject of Scholastic and the two party system over at Counterpunch.

KW: Below, is an e-mail I sent around to third party circles and some Nader fans, on October 24, 2008. I also sent a request to Scholastic that week for a full report on their write-ins, and I don’t believe they ever answered me. Think I may follow up on that:

Remember being a child, and receiving your weekly edition of Scholastic News? It was presented as real facts and important current events. Most children who read it are not old enough, or supported in critical thinking enough, to disagree with its vision of reality.

It is frustrating that for the Scholastic mock election, they only presented the choice of two candidates – the two, major party, corporate candidates.

But, as if the injustice of denying the presence of other candidates was not enough, it only gets worse. The Scholastic election did allow for write-ins. But, scholastic did not even publish full write-in results. Instead, they arbitrarily listed some of the write-in results. And, with that, only to prop up the other corporate candidate, Hillary Clinton, and then to mock the other choices for write-ins. This is not how to validate a child’s political expression. This is not a fair way to publish election results – even mock election results.

I think that parents, students, the public, and other candidates should demand that Scholastic somewhere provide information about all write-ins. Scholastic should set an example of the best practices for democracy and boards of elections: allowing for write-ins and publishing the results of write-ins.

And, next year, Scholastic should create a better system of ballot access. They should either do state-by-state ballots, and put on the actual candidates from each state that are on the ballot. Or, they should create a logical criteria, such as that any candidate who has the possibility of winning in the electoral college be put on the ballot. In this way, we will show our children a good and true example of democracy and respect for voting rights and ballot rights.

Kimberly Wilder


Welcome to Scholastic.com

It’s official. At least for the kids! The Scholastic Presidential Election Poll results are in: Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama won with 57 percent of the vote, to 39 percent for Republican nominee Senator John McCain.

The poll was open to kids from grades 1 to 12 in Scholastic News and Junior Scholastic magazines. Almost 250,000 (a quarter of a million) kids voted by paper ballot or online at www.scholastic.com/news. The poll closed on October 10.

Since 1940, the results of the student vote have mirrored the outcome of the general election all but twice: In 1948, kids voted for Thomas E. Dewey over Harry S. Truman. In 1960, more students voted for Richard M. Nixon than for John F. Kennedy. In 2000, a majority of student voters chose George W. Bush, mirroring the Electoral College result, but not the result of the popular vote.

Obama and McCain weren’t the only vote getters. Four percent of the students voted for other people like comedian Stephen Colbert, and entertainers Miley Cyrus, and the Jonas Brothers. It was the highest percent of write-in votes in the history of the poll. Some even voted for themselves. Most of the write-in votes —11 percent of the 4 percent—were for Senator Hillary Clinton.

So why is a kid poll important? And does it mean anything come November 4? Kid Reporter Lya Ferreyra knows.

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  1. […] Scholastic Presidential Mock Election Unfair « OntheWilderSide […]

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