LHS holds first-ever mock election

LHS holds first-ever mock election
Posted on 11/08/2016
With the nation engrossed in the 2016 presidential election, Lynden High School students jumped in on the action too. What started as a project for the five social studies teachers at the high school turned into a schoolwide mock election, held on Friday, Nov. 4, in the library, with the results announced to the school on the true Election Day of Tuesday, Nov. 8.

“We were talking about what we could do to educate about the election and harness this energy going on,” says teacher Kevin Richins. “I think it was great and a chance for all the students to participate in the democratic process.”

The original plan had the social studies teachers working together to hold a mock election in their individual classes, but once librarian Aimee Minkler got involved and offered up the library as a voting booth, the teachers decided to open up the event to everyone in the school.

From there the leadership class posted non-partisan signs across the school encouraging people to vote, ballots were made mimicking the choices for president offered in Washington State and displays in the library showed a handful of the different party’s candidates. Social studies classes also spent time allowing students to research candidates and issues.

With the election on Friday, Richins says he was pleased with the 540 votes cast, especially for the first-time event.

“It seemed like a lot of students were giving it some thought,” he says. “We had some silly write-ins, but for the most part students were looking at the actual candidates and voting on those choices.”

Richins says he hopes to expand on the idea in the future, encouraging more students to participate and allowing them to all see how the voting process works.

The mock election was held on Friday to allow a chance to tabulate the votes in time for the big reveal during the announcements that kick off the Tuesday school day.

The final results of the first-ever Lynden High School mock election gave Republican Donald Trump the win with 45.9 percent of the vote, outpacing Democrat Hillary Clinton (26.9 percent), Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson (7.1 percent) and Green Party candidate Jill Stein (2.6 percent).