Oct 26, 2020
By Nicole Bitette
The “Kids Pick the President” initiative is entering its 9th presidential election cycle and providing children with a platform where their voices matter.
The 2020 presidential election is the biggest event of the season for many Americans—even kids. A longtime initiative at Nickelodeon has allowed for people under 18 to still have their voices heard in the election.
The network’s Kids Pick the President program, which launched in 1988, allows children to cast a ballot for a presidential candidate via an online platform. The results will be broadcast in an educational Nick News special, hosted by Keke Palmer, about the voting process on Nickelodeon on Oct. 27. The youth of America has a near-perfect track record when it comes to choosing the next president—they’ve accurately predicted seven out of eight of the candidates who won the popular vote.
Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson, a veteran of CBS’ 60 Minutes who recently joined Nickelodeon as VP of news programming and executive producer of Nick News, said that giving kids a voice in this election will create a generation of informed voters for future elections.
“Let's not underestimate the fact that these kids will be ready when their time comes to cast their vote. I think this will stay with them by the time they're 18. They can be part of it in a certain way right now, as a precursor to becoming part of the real thing,” she said. “This is something that is going to inform a lot of kids about what the electoral college is and why their vote still counts.”
Laguerre-Wilkinson spoke to the ViacomCBS Newsroom about the importance of educating children on the voting process, how Nickelodeon is able to boil down the issues in a family-friendly way, and her hopes for the next politically minded generation.