100 Days in Appalachia and its partners will undertake a survey of the political and social viewpoints of high school seniors in Appalachia and across the country, ahead of November’s midterm elections.

The innovative polling project will utilize the SMS-based software GroundSource, which enables researchers to engage with students quickly and easily via text message.

High school seniors, some of which will be eligible to vote in the 2018 elections, will be asked to nominate the issues that are important to them, as well as their feelings about pivotal election issues such as immigration, government spending, America’s role in the world, health care and social services.

The nonpartisan survey will not ask students to select typical binary “for/against” political categorizations on key issues, but instead present students with a wider range of choices to allow them to describe more accurately their political and social beliefs.

The goal of the project is to give young Appalachians the freedom to describe how they really feel about prominent political and social issues outside of the rigid framework of traditional partisan lines.

Are you an educator, student or parent interested in your school taking part in the survey? Contact us now to receive a draft of the questions and more information.

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All responses will be anonymous. Students will be given the opportunity to provide attributed comments for reporting following the polling project.

Students will be asked approximately 8 questions over the course of two weeks at the beginning of the 2019 school year.

Questions will be texted to student’s cell phones, and will take just a few seconds to complete. All cell phone data submitted by respondents will remain secure and private, and will not be shared with any third parties.

The results of the polling will be used to inform reporting about the midterm elections by 100 Days in Appalachia. Polling results will also be made available to the participating schools and organizations.

This will be the second SMS-based polling project conducted by 100 Days in Appalachia, following a pilot project in April, 2018, in five high schools in West Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky.

For more information about the project, contact 100 Days in Appalachia’s Community Engagement Editor, Jake Lynch, at [email protected], or by phone at 304.376.4639.

Reed College of Media at West Virginia University
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
The Daily Yonder
Inspire U.S.
Teachers College, Columbia University