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Before registered voters headed to the polls, Newtown High School’s Student Government hosted a mock election at the school on Wednesday, November 2. Results were shared by the school on Tuesday, November 8.
Student Government members volunteered throughout the school day on November 2 to oversee voting. Each student in the school was invited to go the polling location, a dance room in the high school, during a free period to vote. Students had to show their student ID to receive their ballot. Student Government advisors Jennifer Dellasala and Larry Saladin oversaw the project with the group’s student members, and NHS teachers Candace Dietter and Jason Edwards assisted. By 7:30 am on NHS’s voting day, Ms Dellasala said 50 students had cast their votes.
“And it has been busy ever since,” said Ms Dellasala about an hour later.
By the end of the voting day, as shared by the school on November 8, roughly 63 percent of the student body had participated in the mock election.
Mr Edwards said the event was crafted to be as close to reality as possible, including the choice for students to vote during free periods and show IDs, much like registered voters going to polling locations and showing identification.
“Thank you for voting,” said Ms Dietter, after a student handed in his ballot.
As students arrived to vote, members of Student Government checked IDs and checked off students from a list to track voters and participation.
NHS Senior and Student Government President Gillian Chanko and her mother Susan Chanko worked together to hand out “I Voted” stickers to participating students.
Gillian said she thought holding a mock election would raise student awareness about politics and help foster a desire to learn about “what is going on.”
Fellow NHS Senior and Student Government Vice President Connery Mayer said he felt the mock election was important to help students who are not old enough to vote feel they can participate.
“We want to give them a voice so they feel their political opinions are important,” said Connery, adding that it would be interesting to see how the school votes in the election.
According to the mock election results shared by the school, Hillary Clinton had 505 votes, Donald Trump had 381, Gary Johnson had 71, and Jill Stein had 53 for the presidential election; Richard Blumenthal had 428, Dan Carter had 328, Richard Lion had 82, and Jeffery Russell had 53 for US Senator; Elizabeth Esty had 491, and Clay Cope had 385 for US House of Representative; Tony Hwang had 490 and Philip Dwyer had 384 for State Senator; Mitch Bolinsky had 512 and Eva B. Zimmerman had 365 for 106th District Representative; LeReine Frampton had 480 and Carey Schierloh earned 389 for Registrar of Voters; and Daniel O’Grady had 458 and Sharon Wicks Dornfeld had 394 for Judge of Probate of Northern Fairfield County.