by Ellie Reinhardt
The AP Government and Politics class will be holding a mock election at WHS this October. According to the class’ teacher, Ms. Trisha Ann Pizzi, WHS has held mock elections before, but this is the first year that she is organizing one.
Pizzi and Social Studies Teacher Mr. Jason Grant are planning an assembly which will feature a debate for the election. The AP Gov students will set up panels to represent three different political parties who will present each party’s ideologies from the point of view of the party’s candidate. According to Pizzi, this mock debate is scheduled to happen a few days before the school election day so that students have time to make their voting decisions.
Said senior AP Gov student Chris Fischer: “I know there will be students who will be interested in participating, but it is common for kids to be indifferent or even uneducated on politics, which is in part the purpose of the debate that the AP Gov class is trying to put together. We are trying to get everybody interested in politics.”
The voting will take place during lunch periods and will be open to all WHS students. According to Pizzi, the AP Gov class is trying to either reserve space in the library or set up laptops in the cafeteria for students to vote.
“Because a lot of teachers are looking at the election in their classes and students are exposed to it, we hope that more students will be interested and want to be a part of the election and vote,” said Pizzi.
The AP Gov students are doing all the background work for the election and must publicize the event and set it up. They are “in charge of raising awareness and getting momentum behind the election in general,” said Pizzi.
Said senior AP Gov student Maria Hershey, “I think it's very important that kids our age start to get an idea of politics and the election process. Many, if not all, of the students at WHS will be able to vote in the 2016 election, and should therefore understand how this election works.”
According to AP Gov students, the class is planning on using posters, announcements and social media to raise awareness about the mock election.
Said senior AP Gov student Riyad Cary: “I think that the combination of the mock election and the real election will help raise awareness. Sometimes people feel like politics and elections don't really affect them, and hopefully…running a mock election will dismiss some of these feelings. Obviously the election itself will get people interested, but the combination of the two is really the most effective.”