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CitizenDetroit, DPSCD & Dept. of Elections Simulate 2020 March Primary at Cass Tech

This post was adapted from a January 29 press release by CitizenDetroit.

On Friday, January 31, 2020, nonprofit civic engagement organization CitizenDetroit and the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) hosted the first of four election simulations at Cass Technical High School. This program, funded by The Skillman Foundation and supported by the Detroit Department of Elections, is designed to emphasize the importance of the right to vote, educate students on elections and ballot research, and give students the opportunity to take information home to their families about the March 10 primary election.

“The Department of Elections is proud to support a project that educates young people on our elections process and encourages them, and their families, to exercise their right to vote,” said Janice Winfrey, City Clerk, City of Detroit.

Election simulation day began with an Amplify Your Vote election rally complete with live performances and guest speakers including CitizenDetroit Deputy CEO, Misha Stallworth. The rally was emceed by local hip hop artist Nique Love Rhodes and DJ’d by WJLB’s BigDogBlast joined by jock KirbyGwen. It also featured performances by Cass Tech students including the marching band, spoken word artists and dancers.

Cass Tech students vote in the primary simulation hosted by CitizenDetroit on January 31. Photo by Paul Enstrom

DPSCD is working with CitizenDetroit to increase youth understanding of what it means to participate in the election process and the importance of acting upon the right to vote. The week prior to simulation day all 2,400 Cass Tech High School students received a package in their homeroom class including campaign literature from each presidential candidate, literature supporting and opposing the proposed Detroit Institute of Arts Millage renewal, voter plans and registration forms along with an Amplify Your Vote Detroit elections ‘zine.

The voting process was simulated by the Department of Elections, complete with trained poll workers, privacy sleeves for ballots, 20 voting boxes, and “I Voted” stickers after ballots have been submitted into the voting machines.

“The more voices that participate in elections, the stronger our democracy. We want every Detroit resident to be prepared to engage in the electoral process and we’re so pleased to partner with DPSCD to bring this hands-on civics lesson to students and their families,” said Sheila Cockrel, CEO, CitizenDetroit.

CitizenDetroit is proud to partner with DPSCD for this incredible program, and Cass Tech is the first of four election simulations. In the spring of 2020 CitizenDetroit will replicate the election simulation at three other high schools, impacting more than 4,000 DPSCD students.

About CitizenDetroit

CitizenDetroit is a civic engagement nonprofit that envisions Detroit as one of the most civically engaged cities in the nation. CitizenDetroit ensures Detroiters are informed with unbiased, fact-based information so that they can engage with one another and encourages them to act using methods that address their unique needs and values.

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