Three years ago, I presented the idea of creating a mock election at the Alliance Academy that would allow all middle school and high school students to participate. It wasn’t a difficult activity to set up. After all, the U.S. Government teacher was already doing this in his classes. However, his class is exclusively offered to the seniors at Alliance Academy and they participate in the mock election for a class grade. Therefore, all I needed to do was create a voter registration format and election process that would allow all secondary students to vote on the candidates being chosen in the 12th grade government classes. That first year, we were able to host the mock election on the same day as the U.S. elections were taking place in the U.S.
For the past two years, however, the Ecuadorian holidays at the beginning of November landed on the same day as the election. As I watch for the election results tonight, I’ll also be preparing the final details for our mock election to take place on Friday of this week.
To give students a better feel of the election process, I began a voter registration drive at the beginning of September. My civics club members were in charge of asking their fellow classmates if they had registered to vote and then giving them voter registration application forms to help them become ‘registered voters.’ By the end of October, we had more than 90% of the student body registered to vote.
This coming Thursday, November 4, the 12th grade students will congregate in the school’s chapel to participate in a final press conference/presidential debate. The U.S. Government class is split into two separate periods. Each period has selected republican and democratic candidates and one class selected independent candidates, as well. My journalism class will participate as members of the press to ‘grill’ each candidate on the issues facing U.S. citizens today.
All other secondary classes have been invited to come to the chapel during that time to listen to the debates in order to help them decide who to vote for
The following day, November 5, a special assembly will bring all secondary students together in the high school gymnasium to give each presidential and vice-presidential candidate the chance to express themselves one last times before the students (who are registered voters) ‘go to the polls.’
After they place their ballots in their ‘district’ (voting by grade level), I will have the privilege of counting up the votes and figuring out which candidates won in each of the two government classes. It will be interesting to compare the actual results after tonight with the voting patterns of the students at this school.