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Election 2020: The Road to the White House

Since the founding of this Nation, education and democracy have gone hand in hand. Thomas Jefferson not only wrote the Declaration of Independence and served as our third President but also founded one of our most distinguished institutions of higher learning, the University of Virginia. Jefferson and the Founders believed a nation that governs itself, like ours, must rely upon an informed and engaged electorate.

~ Ronald Reagan
Radio Address to the Nation, September 10, 1988


During an election, civic energy reaches a fever pitch. The vote is one of the citizen’s most powerful tools, and advocating for a candidate, a set of ideas, or a platform is the right of every citizen. The President of the United States is often called the most powerful person in the world, so with every presidential election, the stakes are high. This unit is designed to teach students about presidential elections. It is not a collection of facts, diagrams, and explanations of processes. It is an interactive, project based unit that invites the student to fully engage in the process of an election while also informing students about how elections work. It is our hope that this unit helps cultivate the sorts of informed and engaged citizens that are so essential to our democracy.

Teaching For Democracy Alliance

The Teaching for Democracy Alliance is creating opportunities for teachers to learn about existing election and voting materials, related professional development, and a strong collective voice for democratic learning that will help teachers overcome the partisan noise and equip them to bring practical democracy lessons to their students.

Core Principles of the Alliance

  • An empowered citizenry is important and every student can become an informed citizen through structured civic learning
  • All students need access to opportunities to learn about and experience core democratic processes like elections and voting
  • A variety of high quality and culturally relevant resources and strategies are needed to reach all teachers and students

Election Resources

Non-Partisan Groups U.S. Government / Campaign Sites Presidential Libraries


California Student Mock Election

Inspiring a New Generation of Voters

Register your school

Young people have the potential to be a powerful force in elections, but only if they get involved and make voting a habit.

To encourage students to become active voters once they are old enough to cast a ballot, Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson are inviting high school and middle school students, teachers and principals to participate in the MyVote California Student Mock Election, which will take place on October 11, 2016. School registration is now open.

Working with the California Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools and the Constitutional Rights Foundation, in coordination with the MyVoice National Student Mock Election, the Student Mock Election will stir students' interest in voting by tapping into the excitement of the campaign season. As students learn about the candidates and issues, they discover how government and politics affect every part of their lives. They gain firsthand knowledge of how citizens make their voice heard in our democracy, and experience the power of their votes when they are joined by thousands of California students and millions more across the United States who will vote in student mock elections this year.

If you have questions, please contact the MyVote California Student Mock Election Team at or (916) 651-3070.

Important Dates:
August 20:
Schools registered by this date receive a mock election tool kit by mail
August 21: Schools registered by this date must print materials from website
October 11:
Mock Election Day
October 12: Announcement of statewide results
November 8: California General Election