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Mock election enables students to stay politically engaged


Students voted Joe Biden for president in North’s mock election Tuesday, Nov. 3. 

The Center for Civic Engagement and Service (CCES) organized the event, which took place during community Tuesday. Because of COVID-19, students used a google form to vote on this year’s candidates and ballot initiatives. The forms contained the same questions seen on the real Massachusetts ballot. 

CCES co-president Claudia Wu said that she and others were motivated to hold the event to help students stay politically engaged. “It is extremely important for young people to be tuned in to what the many issues are and familiarize themselves with voting on a ballot,” she said. 

Senior Aidin Kamali said that the mock election enabled him to better express his opinions. “I think this really can make us feel like our voices are heard,” said Kamali. “Sometimes it can be hard to put ourselves out there, given that we cannot vote yet.” 

According to Wu, the virtual setting for this year’s mock election yielded more positives than negatives. “We did need to be careful on how to set this up. Could students access the form? Did teachers have the right links? The good news is that the ballot did reach more people than in the past, which is great in my eyes. I am assuming the online form is much easier to access for everyone.”

The over 1000 students that participated voted Biden/Harris for President and Vice President and Edward J. Markey for Senator in Congress. Newton students voted Jake Aunchinloss for Representative in Congress, Cynthia Stone Creem for Senator in General Court, and Kay S. Khan for Representative in General Court. Boston students voted Ayanna S. Pressley for Representative in Congress, Christopher A. Iannella Jr. for Councilor, Nicholas P. Collins for Senator in General Court, and Brandy Fluker Oakley for Representative in General Court. 

On the state ballot questions, students voted yes on Question one, Right to Repair and yes on Question two, the Ranked-Choice Voting initiative. Newton students also voted yes on 100 percent renewable energy and yes on a transparent government, the two non-binding initiatives. 

According to CCES co-president Terrie Yoffie, “everything worked beautifully”  and the administration may even consider running the next election virtually again. 

Kamali added that the ballot questions gave him the experience he needed for real elections. “When I am eligible to vote, I need to be aware of all the questions on the ballot so I don’t show up unprepared,” said Kamali. “The mock ballot really made me realize this.”

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Maxwell Lu, Editor-in-chief
Maxwell Lu is a senior at Newton North High School. He enjoys reading and writing. He looks forward to reporting and editing for The Newtonite.
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