With the general election just weeks away, Maxwell High School Juniors and Seniors held a mock election to educate classmates on the political process.
“This project was used to help junior and senior students learn and teach topics varying from key election basics and historical elections, as well as ballot measures and candidates on the current 2016 ballot,” said Christa Molchen, Maxwell High School history instructor.
According to Molchen, she designed the project to get students excited about American democracy and the upcoming general election in November.
Last Thursday, Maxwell juniors and seniors developed information boards with current ballot measures and candidates for “voters,” the underclassmen in grades 6-10, to educate themselves on the various topics.
The voters were then required to become “informed voters” by visiting 10 of the 23 displays before they were allowed to cast their vote.
“I think this mock election definitely goes to show that reading directions when voting, and to cast your vote in general, makes a difference,” said Molchen.
Students then headed to voting booths, supplied by the Colusa County Clerk’s office, to cast their votes for current propositions and for the President and Vice President positions.
“I think the mock elections are a great way to get students excited about voting. It not only gives them the hands on experience of voting, but it helps them gain an understanding of what it takes to make informed decisions about issue that will impact their daily lives,” said Colusa County Clerk Recorder Rose Gallo-Vasquez.
According to Molchen, the mock election provided a close race between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Several ballots were discovered to be spoiled as they contained votes for more than one party.
“In keeping with a true election, spoiled ballots were tossed out and not counted,” she said. “The remaining ballots showed 49 votes for Hillary Clinton and 54 votes for Donald Trump.”
Gallo-Vasquez commented their office also provided signage, voting booths, and “I Voted” stickers to the school for their student body election prepared by Vicki Wilson.
“I think it’s important to recognize all the hard work that teachers like Christa Molchen and Vicki Wilson have done in conducting election activities at their school,” said Gallo-Vasquez.
According to Gallo-Vasquez the County Clerk Elections Office partnered with Maxwell High School in May of 2016.
“We were invited to do a presentation for her senior class,” said Vasquez. “At that time, Celia Su, Deputy Clerk, and I set up a polling place environment in the Maxwell High School gym. We did an overview of the voter registration process and requirements, the June primary, and the students were provided ballots that allowed them to cast their votes (for) the Best Automobile Manufacturer, Best singer, and Best Ice Cream Flavor.”
Maxwell High School would like to remind everyone that the United States’ general election is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. For more information on how to vote or where polling places are located, call the Election’s Office at (530) 458-0500 for more information.■