Students Experience Democracy Through a Mock Election

Loy Norrix students are given ballots as they prepare to vote. Mainly juniors and seniors  were invited to the election, though other students voted in their classrooms.  Photo credit:  Cori VanOstran

Loy Norrix students are given ballots as they prepare to vote. Mainly juniors and seniors
were invited to the election, though other students voted in their classrooms.
Photo credit:
Cori VanOstran

With less than a month to go before election day, political commercials, yard signs, mail and billboards have infiltrated every corner of the nation. Even Loy Norrix has gotten caught up in the mania, having held a mock election on October 21st.

Mock elections are replicas of real elections, right down to the poll booths and voting machines. Students were each given the same ballot that voters across the state will receive on November fourth.

“[Mock elections] help explain our process because our protocol is complicated,” said government teacher Arthur Williams, who organized Loy Norrix’s mock election.

The results of the mock election reflected a fairly liberal trend. Loy Norrix elected Democrat Mark Schauer to the position of governor with fifty two percent of the vote. Likewise, democrats Gary Peters and Paul Clements secured congressional seats, with Clements ousting the incumbent representative Fred Upton who assumed office in 1993. The two proposals on the ballot dealt with wolf hunting and were narrowly rejected, both being denied with just over 50 percent of the vote.

One issue that our political system faces is the fact that so few people, particularly young people, exercise their right to vote.

“Being a citizen is not free or easy,” Williams said, “but if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

Ximena Davis, a senior who intends to vote in the upcoming election, believes that voting is an important right for Americans to exercise.

“You can decide on laws, and it is important for you to have a voice,” Davis said.

With only about half of Americans showing up to vote on a regular basis, it is questionable whether or not the laws being put into place are representative of the whole nation’s voice. Students may hold the misconceptions that voting is scary or tedious, but as the mock election proved, voting is a process which is fairly easy — so long as your mind is made up. So if you’re 18, and possess a voting license, consider using it on November fourth.