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This Month's (August) SoS Spotlight

“The children are our future.”  Many people use this popular quote, but don’t take action to create educated voters for life.  

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa is taking action. His office recently developed the “Civics” website, which is a comprehensive website of resources for teachers and students.  The website, includes detailed information on voting procedures: how to properly complete a ballot, local proposals to the importance of civic service, including working as a poll worker.

In addition, the website has lesson plans for teachers, and a list of national resources and links for additional information.  

Besides the website, Mr. Ysursa is sponsoring the 2008 Idaho Student Mock Election.  The Idaho Student Mock Election is open to high school government classes statewide and will allow students to vote for presidential candidates.  The ballot will also include two special propositions written by students. The project, which took a year to develop, was coordinated with the Idaho Department of Education.

Mr. Ysura can trust his effort to help prepare young people for voting will produce dedicated voters.  According to Penn State Professor Eric Plutzer, “voting behavior is, in part, a gradually acquired habit.”

We shine the spotlight on Mr. Ysura for his innovation.

For more ideas about civics education, see FairVote's
Learning Democracy voting curriculum.