JACKSON – Materials for the Secretary of State’s 2020 Promote the Vote (PTV) program are now available online at www.sos.ms.gov/PTV. PTV is the Secretary of State’s comprehensive K-12 voter education program that consists of a statewide mock election, an essay contest, and an art contest. This year’s “The Future of My Vote” theme will encourage students to “think outside of the [ballot] box” and imagine how the voting process may change over the next 40 years.
"I’m looking forward to visiting with as many classrooms as I can to talk about the importance of voting and making sure our future leaders understand the significance of not only registering to vote and voting but how important it is to be an educated voter," said Secretary Watson.
"I remember when a local attorney, Jimmy Colmer, came to my class in the 6th grade to spend time with us talking about his profession. That someone would take the time out of their busy schedule to help educate me meant the world, so I am hoping spending time with students and talking to them about voting will leave a lasting impact on the future of our state."
Students will "vote" for the next President of the United States during a statewide mock election on Thursday, October 29, 2020. A PTV Mock Election Sample Ballot will be posted on our website on the morning of PTV Mock Election Day. The Mock Election ballot will feature the same presidential candidates from the official 2020 General Election ballot.
Our office teamed up with Mississippi Public Broadcasting's Education department (MPB) to promote participation from schools, teachers, and students. Students can win prizes, such as books and MPB swag, through a social media contest on Facebook and Instagram. Parents and teachers are asked to encourage their students to post photos of their PTV participation and tag @MPB Education. Winners of the contest will be announced on Facebook and Instagram the day after Mock Election Day.
"We are happy to partner once again with the Secretary of State on this very important project. Students are learning about this civic duty which allows their voices to be heard on important issues. Promote the Vote will hopefully help them recognize voting as a "must-do" throughout their lives,” said MPB Education Director Tara Y. Wren. “MPB Education's social media contest gives students the opportunity to express their voting experience. We are excited about seeing their posts."
The PTV art contest is available for Kindergarten through 12th Grade students, and the PTV essay contest is available to any student in grades 6-12. Both contests will ask students to express what they think our voting process will look like in the year 2060. All art and essay entries must be received by the Secretary of State's Office no later than Friday, December 4, 2020. Our office will hold a special awards ceremony for all contest winners and their teachers sometime in early 2021.
Anyone wishing to participate in our PTV program must register online. If you have any questions or need assistance registering for the mock election or PTV contests, please contact our Communications and Publications Division at 601-359-6344.
For more information about PTV, or to register to become a participating school or classroom, click here.