Cleveland Charter High School

Cleveland High School holds mock elections

Cleveland High School held its own mock election on October 8. A total of 349 students participated in this simulation of a gubernatorial and Senate election.

Students voted for Republican candidate John H. Cox or Democratic candidate Gavin Newsom in the mock gubernatorial elections.

Democrats Kevin De Leon and Dianne Feinstein were also faced against one another in the Senate elections. Additionally, students also had the opportunity to input their opinion, through votes, regarding Propositions 1-12.

As the results came in, the Democrats pulled ahead with 206 votes vs. the Republicans’ 142 votes. Feinstein also pulled forward with 225 votes, in comparison to Leon’s 124.

Cleveland High School voted mostly Democratic. Considering Cleveland’s diverse community and its geographic landscape, this is not surprising. However, what was surprising was the considerable amount of votes for the Republican Party.

The 2016 mock presidential elections showed that Cleveland preferred the Democratic Party’s candidate, Hillary Clinton by an overwhelming 502, rather than the Republican Party’s candidate, Donald Trump: 59.

In comparison to 2016, the ratio of votes for the Republican Party is a considerably high number. One must consider the factors for such results: favor for the candidates, loyalty to a certain political party, and also statements. This year, Newsom failed to make a statement, which also must be considered.

Although, the results of the votes in actuality are not a accurate representation of Cleveland’s student body. The 349 students make up approximately 10 percent of the student body, according to Danielle Aucoin. 

“Students were confused by the pre-registration,” Danielle Aucoin, head of the Senior Board said.

Aucoin said that the outcomes of the mock gubernatorial election was “hurt” by the registration confusion.

Since mock elections are simply stimulations meant to encourage involvement in politics and civic engagement early on, voting was open to everyone.

“I think that voter participation is a key part of our democratic system… I was honored to fulfill my duty,” said Lazlow Meiman, a participant in the 2018 midterm mock elections.  

Studies have shown that in 2014, only approximately 19 percent of voters the age of 18-29 voted. It isn’t a stretch to conclude that most of America’s youth groups have opted to stay out of politics.

A major purpose of this stimulation is to bring the next generation back in to political engagement.

“As students learn about the candidates and issues, they discover how government and politics affect every part of their lives,” Alex Padilla said. “They gain firsthand knowledge of how citizens make their voice heard in our democracy.”