By Lauren Runza
Many people have been told that they should get out and vote on Election Day this Nov. 4, but how many have heard about voting in the National Mock Election? Not a large number, according to a quick, informal survey of students on campus.
The National Mock Election is a pretend election in which anyone who registers on the organization’s site may vote for president. However, the ballot that registered mock voters will fill out when the voting starts on Oct. 20 is quite different from the ballot that will be filled out in the actual presidential election.
The ballot is divided into three portions, with the first section essentially being a copy of the regular, traditional ballot. Voters are given the chance to choose who they would like to see as president of the United States, with many third-party candidates and even a write-in option, and they also get to vote for the candidates running for the Senate and House of Representatives.
The last two portions are what differentiates this ballot from a normal one, and are also what make it more interesting. The second part of the ballot questions the voters on how important several different issues are to them, such as the war in Iraq and the education system, and whether they think the government should be spending more time and money on those issues. The third and final portion of the ballot is a list of historic presidents, and voters are asked to pick who they wish could lead the nation at the present time.
Many students were unsure about the idea of voting in a mock election when they can vote in an actual one only days after the mock election ends, but found the idea of voicing their opinion on important issues interesting.
“I don’t know about voting in a mock election, but I’d like to see the ballot in the real election ask me about how I feel on current issues,” said senior Christina Dickson.
To register for the National Mock Election, you simply need to visit and fill out your basic information on www.nationalmockelection.org. This information includes your name, address and either your home town or Rider University’s zip code. After typing in your zip code, select the “not listed” option under organizations in order to register as an individual. Online voting begins Oct. 20 and ends Oct. 30, with the results to be announced by Oct. 31. These results include local statistics as well as state and national figures. Rider students who are not residents of New Jersey can simply choose to register for their home state’s ballot, and it is suggested that international students choose New Jersey, but they can pick any state they wish.