mock-election-2016Stoneleigh-Burnham School held a mock election on Wednesday, October 26 as part of VOTES 2016.

All members of the school community, including students, faculty, and staff, had the opportunity to cast their votes for president and vice president. There were also several ballot questions. The polling station was set up in the Newton Hub.

Our school, along with more than 145 other high schools across the nation, are participating in VOTES 2016, a nationwide mock presidential election in which more than 50,000 high school students participate.

SBS history teachers Tim McCall and Alex Loud and their classes have also been doing community education about the election. Students did a presentation of the four major political parties on the majority of ballots throughout the country, and a mini-debate was held at Housemeeting.

The first VOTES mock election was held in 1988, and it has been held every four years since then. Interestingly, six of the seven mock elections held so far have correctly predicted the results of the actual election. In addition to being one of the largest high school mock elections in the country, it is also the only mock election that simulates the electoral college voting process.

Each participating school — and there are at least two participating schools from each state — holds its own election before the actual election. The results are sent to Jim Shea, a history teacher at Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) in Gill, MA. Jim tallies up the popular vote by state, and based on the popular vote, assigns the delegates for that state to the winning candidate. To win the election, a candidate must win 270 delegates.

The results of the nationwide VOTES 2016 election are revealed on Sunday, November 6 during a two-hour-long broadcast that is staged by the students at NMH. This year, for the first time, that “broadcast” will be streamed live over the Web so that all the participating schools, as well as the general public, can watch the reporting of the results in real time.

Here are the results of the SBS mock presidential election:
Hillary Clinton and Tim Kain (Democratic Party): 127 votes
Donald Trump and Mike Pence (Republican Party): 8 votes
Gary Johnson and William Weld (Libertarian Party): 6 votes
Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka (Green Party): 17 votes

Total votes cast (including faculty/staff and grades 7-12): 157
Total school population including students and faculty/staff*: 218

* It is difficult to calculate total faculty/staff as not all members of the community have hours during the school day.

Voter participation by school: 72%
Voter participation by class:
12th grade: 90.5%
11th grade: 68%
10th grade: 85.3%
9th grade: 68.75%
8th grade: 42.3%
7th grade: 68.75%

Results of ballot questions:
Question 1: A proposal has been made to eliminate tuition at in-state public colleges for families with annual incomes under $125,000. Do you support or oppose making college tuition-free for these families?
Support: 131
Oppose: 25

Question 2: Which comes closest to describing your views of immigrants without documentation who are living in the U.S.?
They should be allowed to stay in the United States and eventually apply for citizenship: 130
They should be allowed to stay in the U.S. legally but not be allowed to apply for citizenship: 19
They should be required to leave the U.S.:7
Abstentions: 2

Question 3: Would you support or oppose a law which would require universal background checks for all gun purchases in the U.S. using a centralized database across all 50 states?
Support: 131
Oppose: 14
Abstentions: 4

Question 4: In general, would you support or oppose increasing taxes on wealthy Americans and large corporations in order to help reduce income inequality in the U.S.?
Support: 134
Oppose: 21
Abstentions: 3

Question 5: Do you support a law requiring all voters to provide photo identification at their voting place in order to vote?
Support: 81
Oppose: 72
Abstentions: 4

Question 6:Do you support or oppose the U.S. taking in refugees from the conflicts in Syria and other Middle Eastern Countries after screening them for security.
Support: 130
Oppose: 19
Abstentions: 9

Question 7: Do you support or oppose hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), a drilling method that uses high-pressure water and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations, as a means of increasing the production of natural gas and oil in the U.S.?
Support: 16
Oppose: 136
Abstentions: 6