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M a c o m b    E d u c a t o r    F A Q's...


Who can participate in the Mock Election?


Any student, staff member or faculty member enrolled or employed by Western Illinois University may participate. Note the simulation takes place over six sessions. Session I will be held in Moline at the i-Wireless Center. That event will be led by students and staff from the Quad Cities, including personnel from Augustana College, Scott Community College, Black Hawk College, St. Ambrose University and WIU-Moline. WIU-Macomb also will participate in Session 1, but will assume the lead role in the remaining five sessions.



Is participation limited to political science classes?


Absolutely not. While many political science classes will participate, the event is intended for everyone. It is a community-wide civic event. Participation is open to any and all classes, regardless of level or subject matter. This event will be especially valuable to First Year Experience classes.



How can my students participate in the Mock Election?


Many educators will have their classes participate. Contact your administrators or the contact person listed on the webpage. Tell us what class or classes will be participating and how many students you will have in each class. Next, ask your students what caucus they prefer. (Hint: It might be good to remind students that their choice of party has absolutely no bearing upon their grades or how you will view them). Once you have an accurate count, then pass it on to your local contact person so that we can process their identification badges.


What role can educators play in the simulation?


We will need lots of help. Aside from having your class participate, we will need many staff volunteers to oversee each caucus, distribute handouts and questionnaires, take attendance, collect materials, and assist in voting. Please volunteer.



How will my students know what they represent or what they should do?


Each student will have an identification badge. Badges are color-coded, Red for Republican and Blue for Democrat. Each badge will include their name, identification number, and the caucus they represent. They can read their assignments on the web. They will need to display their identification badge to gain entry and participate.



What if a student loses his or her identification badge?


Remind them not to lose their badges. Each badge costs money and replacing them will not be easy. If a student loses a badge, we will have a table set up at the i-Wireless Center to give them a temporary badge—provided they have proper student identification.



When will student identification badges be distributed?


They will be distributed through your college representative at least two weeks before the simulation. It is the college representative’s responsibility to get those badges to you in a timely fashion. Do not wait until the last class before the event to distribute them, because students who might miss that class will be panic stricken and you will be in a bind to distribute their badges.



Will Educators also have identification badges?


Yes. Each educator will be given a color-coded identification badge. The badge will be needed to enter the arena and participate in the events. It should be worn at all times.



How will I know where I am supposed to go?


There will be caucus signs displayed prominently on the floor. You also will find a floor plan on this webpage.



How will I know what to do during the Mock Election?


The Schedule of Events is found on this webpage. Educators may request assignments. Most will be assigned to supervise a specific mock caucus or state. You also will assist in taking attendance, distributing materials, and helping direct students.



How should Caucus Goers, Delegates or Voters (students) cast their votes?


It generally boils down to this: “Based on everything I know, how would the voters of my assigned community or state vote if the presidential election were held today?” It is as simple and as complicated as that.



Will the voting be done secretly?


Yes. Students do not have to reveal how they voted unless they choose to do so. Educators may, however, be asked to assist in distributing ballots. To ensure fairness and legitimacy, the votes will be counted by members of the League of Women Voters.



What should I wear to the Mock Election?


Wear whatever you choose. Since this is a patriotic event, you might wear something red, white and blue. Feel free to be creative. Again, this is meant to be a fun evening of civic engagement. However, staff members will be asked to wear white skimmer hats for identification.



Which party caucus should I choose to work in the Mock Election?


The choice is yours. Since staff and educators will not be voting, it really does not matter. Whatever time works best for you. We will likely need your help at both caucuses.



Why is the initial participation limited to just two political parties?


While there are many minor or third parties in American politics, our system is essentially a two-party system. Later in the simulation, at the WIU-Macomb campus, students will simulate the national nominating conventions of the Green Party, the Libertarian Party and the Tea Party. If you identify with one of those parties and want to participate, you are invited to do so. Please check the schedule of events and contact list to be given an identification badge.



Must my students always play Democrats or Republicans?


No. At the conclusion of Session 4, students who are dissatisfied with either the Democratic or Republican nominees may opt to participate in one of the three minor party conventions—Green Party, Tea Party or Libertarian Party—in Session 5. Additionally, students are free to vote for whomever they please in Session 6.



Will any actual Presidential Candidates attend the Mock Election?


The actual Republican and Democratic hopefuls have been invited to participate. We cannot guarantee their attendance. If they cannot attend, their Mock Campaign Managers will arrange for video presentations or surrogate speakers.



How should I award credit for student participation in the Mock Election?


Generally, the decision is left to the individual educators, unless your college administrators have a contrary policy. Some professors will make the Mock Election a course requirement. Other professors will merely give extra credit for attending the Mock Election. The amount of points awarded is a matter of academic discretion.



Aside from bonus points, are there any suggestions for making the MPE an educational experience?


Professors may give an additional assignment, such as conducting research or writing an essay about your experience. For example, a speech class might analyze the delivery and rhetoric of the political candidates. A biology class might analyze the environmental platforms of the two parties. A history class could research past political conventions. These are just a few suggestions to tailor the event to your class.



What if a student is enrolled in two or more classes that are participating in the Mock Election?


It is quite possible that a student will be enrolled in two or more classes that will be participating in the Mock Election. You should not worry about the points another professor is assigning. Just decide if and how many points you want to assign. However, each student will be given ONE badge only. We will coordinate with your professors or campus coordinators on badge assignments.



Will other political parties be allowed to participate in the Mock Election?


Yes, but not in Session 1. Students or educators wishing to participate in the Green, Libertarian or Tea Parties are encouraged to attend their mock national conventions at the WIU-Macomb campus in Session 5. Please see the Schedule of Events for times and locations.



Is it possible for Quad Cities students or educators to participate in the WIU-Macomb sessions?


Yes. But it will be first come, first served due to seating capacity. There will be a different numbering system and badge assignments from Session I. Again, please check our contact sheet.



What can educators do to prepare for the Mock Election?


You can start by reading all of the content in this webpage. Be aware of what the presidential candidates are doing and saying. Read newspapers. Search for political news online. Learn about your local caucus. Check with your local party officials.



If I participate in the Mock Republican Caucuses, may I also participate in the Mock Democratic Caucuses, or vice versa?


Yes. Since you will not be voting, we can use your help at both party caucuses. Visibility at both events may help allay any criticism that you favor Democrats over Republicans or Republicans over Democrats.



When and how will I get information regarding the attendance of my students?


We will provide you a list of student attendees, by college and class.



Will the Mock Election generate any television or news coverage?


Yes. The WIU TV will cover all events gavel-to-gavel. We anticipate coverage from all local television stations and will invite C-SPAN. Additionally, we will invite local and national print and electronic news representatives to cover the events.



Will the Mock Election generate any television or news coverage?


Yes. The WIU TV will cover all events gavel-to-gavel. We anticipate coverage from all local television stations and will invite C-SPAN. Additionally, we will invite local and national print and electronic news representatives to cover the events.



What should my students learn from participating in the Mock Election?


Your students should leave with a better understanding of: 1) the American political processes, 2) the differences between presidential caucuses and presidential primaries, 3) the importance of local political participation, 4) the differences between the various political parties, what they do and why they do it, 5) the actual presidential candidates, their records and issue positions. Most importantly, we hope everyone leaves the venue with a desire to participate in our political system in the future.