By Dominic Larsen, Assistant Editor
On May 4, more than 200 Kennedy High School Seniors voted in a mock general election. Students who participated in the process voted for an array of public officials including president, California senator, and Sacramento mayor. They were also able to cast a vote on Proposition 50 as well as Measure X. This allowed students to practice voting in an election before voting later this year.
To prepare for the voting experience, more than two hundred seniors gathered in the JFK Auditorium on April 29. The event helped students learn how their voices can be heard within their communities.
The assembly was hosted by three young women, two of whom were Kennedy alumni. The two JFK graduates were Erin Thuston, a successful social worker, and Michele Rogers-Towe, a California state worker. The third presenter was a young mother and West Campus graduate, Christy Shelby. All shared brief stories with the students gathered. After introductions and a brief description of voting, the seniors watched a short locally-produced documentary staring Ms. Thuston on the topic of entering adulthood, applying for jobs and voting.
Seniors were urged to complete voter registration forms in person with the intention of voting in the June primary or November general elections. The High School Voter Registration initiative “I’m Grown, I Vote!” helps students understand their right and ability to vote. The voter registration initiative can be found at http://www.joinyp.org/hs-voter-registration-initiative.
One recent mock election voter Quest Sandel, a JFK senior, Clinton supporter, and also one of the speech and debate captains, was interviewed by The Clarion.
Why do you support Hillary Clinton?
“I feel her experience working with our military speaks for itself. She can help us combat a growing issue in ISIS. Also, her opponents just aren’t candidates I can see myself voting for. Trump has said many offensive, racially motivated things and he has zero experience in politics. Sanders’ policies just aren’t realistic. She is also most closely aligned with President Obama.”
Why do you think people should vote?
“Every American should vote because we have the right to in this great nation and we should use it. If we want to ensure the best candidates for the United States then we must all voice our opinion. Otherwise we have to live with the results of what a smaller, more partisan group decides and that could be dangerous.”
Do you have any thoughts or feelings on the 2016 elections?
“I’m excited with a few nerves. I’m proud of what President Obama has done for our nation. I hope his legacy is continued but I’m nervous because 2 ofthe 3 candidates wouldn’t continue his legacy. I’m excited because this is the first election I can vote in and since I’m a political nerd I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a while.
Results from May 4 mock election have been tabulated. Approximately 220 seniors voted and predominantly supported Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Republican candidate Donald Trump fared poorly among the Kennedy electorate with only about 3% of the votes. Other important races included the U.S. Senate, where Loretta Sanchez was preferred over Kamala Harris, and Darrell Steinberg was the top vote getter for mayor. Current mayor, Kevin Johnson, received enough write-in votes to come close to Steinberg’s count.
Vote totals for the most popular choices are listed below.
- Bernie Sanders – 146
- Hillary Clinton – 45
- Donald Trump – 7
- Loretta Sanchez – 46
- Kamala Harris – 16
- Darrell Steinberg – 82
- Kevin Johnson – 62
- Tony Lopez – 27