Central’s mock election
February 8, 2021
In the United States, only people 18 and older can vote in the elections. This year, however, students at Central were able to ignore that restriction and mark off a “ballot” with a school wide mock election of the 2020 races.
The election opened electronically on Oct. 27 and closed on Election Day, Nov. 3. On the ballot, students and members of the community were asked to vote on the president and vice president, other local political positions, legalizing medical marijuana, and gambling initiatives.
505 votes were cast, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harrison won the presidential nomination with 414 votes. Participants were also asked about their gender, ethnicity, age, political party, and the area of Omaha they live in to see if those factors related to the outcome.
Jordan Boyer, the teacher that organized this election, believes the democrat-leaning results reflect the values of the young people that voted. “I had a pretty strong suspicion the Central results would come out as they did,” he said. “The trends that I noticed were not surprising when compared to what we know about how certain demographics vote. Typically, younger generations tend to be more liberal.”
Boyer, who teaches government classes, got the idea from a student. “I had several students that asked me if we were gong to do some sort of mock election, citing the fact that they remembered doing one as an eighth grader for the 2016 election,” he said.
The students expressing interest in politics make Boyer optimistic for the future generation’s proactiveness in the government. “I tell my students all the time that our system of democracy in the United States is reliant on citizen participation,” he said. “If you don’t get involved, then nothing is going to improve.”
Olivia Mangiameli, a junior at Central who took part in the mock election, agrees with him. “It’s important [to get involved in politics] because the politicians in power are making decisions for our future,” she said. “Our entire well–being is in the hands of someone not being held accountable if they make mistakes that’ll mostly affect the youth.”
Boyer enjoyed presenting a “good opportunity to practice the democratic process” to students, and hopes this will inspire others to take action. “Don’t just complain about the problem. Be a part of the solution,” he said. “You have the ability and the right to do so.”