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Mock election allows students to participate in voting

Students vote in the mock election on Chromebooks in the International Cafe Tuesday, November 8. Photo by Josh Shub-Seltzer

by Samantha Fredburg
Though voters chose Donald Trump to be America’s next president, in North’s mock election Tuesday, Hillary Clinton won by an overwhelming majority.
During G-block, the  Center for Civic Engagement and Service (CCES) organized the International Cafe to be open for students to submit their vote using a Chromebook provided by the school or their smartphones. The mock election was created to be as similar to the real voting process as possible, according to CCES co-director Claudia Wu.
Inside the International Cafe students were separated by dividers to allow privacy. Outside the International Cafe, large-scale posters of the ballot questions along with summaries of the legal language were hung to give students a better understanding.
According to CCES co-director Terry Yoffie, CCES was motivated to create the mock election to bring awareness to students that the questions on the ballot affect them as well as adults, and to provide insight to the process behind voting. “We want people to practice participating in voting,” she said.
“This is my first time having exposure to an actual ballot, so with having experience, getting to see one, it gives us a sense of being prepared,” said Senior Taylah Robinson, “I’m going to be able to vote in the next election, so it’s good for me to be able to have practice.”
The polls closed at the end of G-block, and results were released during F-block. Before the results were released, Yoffie was interested in the result of the mock election because, ““it will be pretty easy to predict the result of the president here, given the demographic, but it won’t be so easy to predict the result of the ballot questions.”
For the electors of President and Vice President the student and faculty body voted 73 percent Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine, 4.4 percent Johnson/Weid, two percent Stein/Baraka, 12.8 percent Trump/Pence, and 9.3 percent Other. Question 1, Expanded Slot Machine Gaming, 29.7 percent voted yes, and 70.3 percent voted no. Question 2, Charter School Expansion, 27 percent voted yes, and 73 percent voted no. Question 3, Conditions for Farm Animals, 82.5 percent voted yes, and 17.5 percent voted no. Question 4, Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana, 68.1 percent voted yes, and 31.9 percent voted no.
For many students, it was a unique experience to practice voting in school, see the results in school, and later hear the results of the real election. In MA polls, Questions 3 and 4 were passed and will soon become laws, just as they were both majority “yes” at North.
“A lot of these issues affect students as well as the adults. We hope this mock election educates students regardless of who wins,” said Wu.

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