With 47.7 percent of America’s popular vote backing Hillary Clinton and 47.5 percent for Donald Trump, youths seem to be just as divided as adults by the 2016 presidential election.
Whitman-Hanson Regional High School students took part in the annual National Student Mock Election on Friday, Oct 28, in which they gave the win to Trump, with 282 votes to Clinton’s 253 — with 208 votes going to third-party candidates. Libertarian Gary Johnson received 173 votes and Jill Stein of the Green-Rainbow Party garnered 35 votes.
The national Scholastic Student Vote held last month, meanwhile, picked Clinton, with 52 percent of the vote to Trump’s 35 percent and 13 percent for “others.” In Massachusetts, the split was 65 percent for Clinton, 24 percent for Trump and 11 percent for others.
Johnson received the third-highest vote totals in the Scholastic voting, as well as at W-H.
On the four ballot questions, W-H students rejected another slot parlor by 141 votes and crushed the proposed expansion of charter schools by 505 votes. They approved Question 3 for better treatment of farm animals by 491 votes and approved the elegalization of marijuana by 309 votes.
The National Student Mock Election in Massachusetts is coordinated through the JFK Presidential Library.Results from Whitman-Hanson have been sent in to be calculated along with others from around the United States.
Lydia Nelson’s business law students and students on the Mock Trial Team have been working for weeks with curriculum materials, materials from the Secretary of State, news sources, and fact-checking websites to create legitimate resources for the school.
The school news broadcast daily information sent by the students. Information was placed on the school network’s share drive for easy access. Posters were made and placed around the school. The results were tallied and submitted to the JFK Presidential Library.
Scholastic magazine touted the track record of its mock election as an accurate barometer for the real thing.
“Since 1940, the results of the student vote have usually mirrored the outcome of the presidential election,” according to Scholastic. They have only been wrong twice — picking Republican Thomas E. Dewey over President Harry S Truman in 1948 and Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy in 1960. In both those elections, the margin of victory was extremely close — for Truman it was 1,012,125 popular votes over Dewey and Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond in 1948; for Kennedy in 1960 it was only 112,827 over Nixon.