On the week of September 14, 2020, in conjunction with Constitution Week, the Judson High School staff and student population were given the opportunity to participate in a mock presidential election, which included information about voting and how to vote.
Results showed that 59 % of individuals polled want former Vice President Joe Biden as the president.
Though Biden won the popular vote amongst those polled, some made clear that they voted this way as a means of preventing, who they saw, as a greater evil from taking office.
“It’s not that Biden is a good guy. But in today’s political climate, it’s just going with the least bad option,” sophomore Madison Estrada said. “If you vote for anyone but Biden, even if it is a third party, it just increases the chances of Trump winning and that would be disastrous for so many Americans.”
Despite being relatively unpopular among the student body, incumbent Donald Trump gained a small following of 15.1% amongst the voters, many of whom expressed their impression of his policies thus far.
“I think Trump as a person is not very nice but as a President, he has done very well. I do dislike his red flag gun laws and some of his stances on the COVID-19 situation. But otherwise, he has done a very good job,” senior Austin Jeffreys said. “The economy has not crashed as badly as people said it would, he is helping secure the border, and has helped fund historically black colleges, as well as made peace with North Korea. Overall, I think Trump is the lesser evil.”
Contrary to the usual pattern of real-world election results, the Green Party’s presidential nominee, Howie Hawkins, came in second place after receiving 16.8% of the vote.
“He supports reproductive freedom, wants to amend the Civil Rights Act to include LGBTQ+ individuals, is against the death penalty, supports Universal Medicare, and wants global nuclear disarmament,” freshman Andrew Mayo said. “While it is unlikely he is to win, I believe that Hawkins would be the best choice for America as a whole, especially minorities and low-income families.”
With only 14.1% of the school’s entire population having taken part in the election, many of the students feel as though their vote truly does not matter given the declining state of the nation.
“I don’t care about who’s president. I don’t think the country will get better either way. Things are going downhill and will continue to go downhill,” sophomore Aaron Castellanos said.
The idea of politics in the classroom has become a topic of conversation, especially during an election year in which the country is seemingly more divided than ever. Regardless of whether participants of the mock election are eligible to participate in the actual 2020 election, staying informed of the facts, civic engagement, and having an understanding of the United States political climate is important for making the choices regarding leadership in the country later in life.
“When I make a decision, I always have to ask myself, ‘Is this choice a choice that includes or excludes people? Is this a person who wants to empower all people or continue to defend a historic system of oppression that allows some people power and/or intentionally silences others?’,” librarian Mariya Ortiz said. “My job as an informed citizen and lover of America and democracy is to consider whether this choice or position is moving us closer to humanity or farther away from humanity.”
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