Kids Voting Missouri is one of two programs directly administered by the Citizenship Education Clearing House (CECH) in the College of Education at UMSL. It is an affiliate of Kids Voting USA, and has a legal contract with Kids Voting USA to administer Kids Voting Missouri in designated counties in Missouri. These counties include: St. Louis, St. Louis City, and the counties of St. Charles, Jefferson, Franklin, Lincoln, and Warren.
What is Kids Voting Missouri?
Kids Voting Missouri is part of a national non-profit, non-partisan program in which students in grades K-12 study portions of a special Citizenship Activities Guide and then go to designated Kids Voting polls on or near Election Day to cast ballots on the same candidates and issues as the adult voters.
Designed to foster civic awareness and involvement, Kids Voting Missouri combines dynamic, hands-on civics education with an authentic voting experience for youth. Kids Voting Missouri joined Kids Voting USA in 1996 when the Ritenour School District signed up to participate.
Kids Voting’s Mission
The goal is to develop lifetime voting habits in young people and help assure that they will assume their civic responsibility as adults; and, the objective goes beyond voting. Kids Voting is an around-the-year citizenship program that teaches students the basics of responsible, active citizenship, i.e., know the issues, know the candidates, vote, research, compromise, make decisions, be a watchdog, hold the elected officials accountable, identify public policy issues, discuss issues, develop action plans to deal with issues, and take action.
During its history at UMSL, more than 1 million K-12 Missouri students have had the opportunity to learn about democracy, citizenship, and voting, and more than 53% of these students have taken advantage of their “voting” opportunity and actually cast a Kids Voting Missouri ballot on or near Election Day.