Mock election prepares seniors to vote in November midterms


The Catalyst / Lauren Fitzgerald

On October 10 and 11, NDB students participated in a school-wide mock election.

On October 10 and 11, the NDB student body participated in the California Student Mock Election for the upcoming midterm election on November 8. The mock election is hosted by NDB’s National Honors Society Board (NHS) and serves to prepare eligible students to vote while promoting voter education.

The midterm election on November 8, 2022 is the first national election since the presidential election of 2020. Midterms elect new governors and congressional representatives to represent one’s state in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Six NDB seniors will be 18 years old by the day of the election and therefore eligible to vote in the midterms. This is a major event for first-time voters, as it will be their first experience exercising their Constitutional right to participate in the nation’s democratic system.

The NHS Board stages mock elections every two years following the California Student Mock Election program, a statewide program in which middle and high school students are provided with the opportunity to learn more about the candidates running to represent California districts and what the statewide propositions on the ballot are supporting. The mock election prepares all students, especially seniors getting ready to vote, for the actual process of voting and to do so in an educated manner.

“Participating in the mock election will make it easier for me to navigate the voting process when the midterm election rolls around,” said senior Bridget Sennett. “It also gave me a chance to see what other candidates are running … This will allow me to make more educated choices when I vote in November.”

For NDB’s mock election, students vote on the most significant federal positions and all propositions for the state of California. To prepare, the board sends the student body a slideshow including candidate names and statements for Governor, Senator and House Representative as found in the California Voter Information Guide. It also shows the full California Proposition Information Guide which includes all proposed bills that will be on the ballot and background information for each. With this information, students have a good idea of who each candidate is and what each proposition stands for so they can participate in the mock election in an educated manner – mirroring hopes for the real-life election process.

“Schools have a unique opportunity to take a community that a school is and simulate what voting in that community looks like,” said NHS Board Advisor and U.S. Government teacher Jonathan Tomczak. “It’s the same reason that we have student council elections and homeroom president elections here. It’s not just about getting those leadership positions filled. It’s also about students understanding that they have a vote and a voice in how their community is run, and it starts at school and then it continues out into the larger world.”

The votes for the 2022 midterm election were cast by the students in English classes for every grade. The election had a 90.78% turnout rate, meaning that more than nine in ten students decided to fill out their ballots. Many students who participated appreciated the election as a chance to become as close to voting as possible, preparing them to vote in a real election in the future.

“[The] people you vote for determine a lot of things that could affect you in the short term or long term,” said freshman Aleeya Baqai. “And if you don’t take action now then things could get worse.”