Mock Election Pushes Teens to the Polls

Teens turn the tide red in the midterm election

Jack Tessier, Features Editor

The results are in and the winners are. . .

Kettle Run hosted a mock election on Oct. 17. Students received a paper ballot that listed the candidates. They were also given the option to abstain. The election took place during Cougar Time and was open to all students.

Out of approximately 1,200 students, 816 cast their votes for the Virginia Senate Race. The results: Republican candidate Corey Stewart defeated Democratic candidate Tim Kaine, 390-210. Libertarian Matt Waters received 59 votes, and 157 voters abstained.

According to his campaign website, Stewart is running on his ability to keep taxes low and being tough on immigration. This is why senior Daniel Fuerlinger voted for him.

“I am very satisfied with the recent accomplishments of the Republican majority Congress,” Fuerlinger said. “I don’t want them to lose any momentum.”

Sophomore Morgan Posselt voted Republican for the same reason.

“I think it’s better economically,” Posselt said. “Democrats have proven to hurt the economy over all. The economy has skyrocketed under Trump.”

According to Kaine’s campaign website, his primary focus is on education and healthcare for all.

Senior Kenverlin Flores-Fuentes shared that she voted for Kaine.

“After going to a Tim Kaine rally and hearing him talk about the LBGTQ community, protecting immigrants, and Virginia having a problem with white supremacy, it was important for me to support him because I am a woman of color who cares about my community,” Flores-Fuentes said.

Senior Alden Howard also voted for Kaine because he wants to change to political landscape of the current Republican-majority Tallying the votes, Jessica Murphy, history department chair, released the results one day after the Mock Election. Murphy feels the results will reflect the results seen at the county level. Congress.

“Republicans aren’t getting anything done as it is, so some change in Congress would be nice,” Howard said. “Trump needs some limits, as does the Republican party.”

According to Water’s campaign website, the most important thing to him is the country’s “out of control spending habits.”

Senior Jack Kroll voted for Walters. “He’s a third party candidate and nobody wants to see him win,” Kroll said.

Jessica Murphy, organizer of the event, said she was surprised by the number of votes Waters received.

“I did see a decent amount of votes for the Libertarian candidate and wondered if the popularity was related to Ron Swanson, Parks and Rec, and less about a true understanding of what a Libertarian platform truly was,” Murphy said.

She added that she thinks the results at Kettle Run could easily reflect the results in the county elections.

“Most of values and beliefs start at home and are influenced by parents and other family members,” Murphy said.

Sophomore James McDonald said his vote for Stewart was heavily influenced by his parents. “I couldn’t think of who to vote for,” McDonald said. “My parents are Republican.”

When it came to the District 5 House of Representatives Race, Republican Denver Riggleman received 412 votes, Democrat Leslie Cockburn received 232 votes, and 146 voters abstained.

Senior Connor Baker voted for Riggleman. “I voted for Riggleman due to his Libertarian positions and his promise to reduce the deficit,” Baker said.

Senior Mario Blanco-Alcala voted for Cockburn because of her promise to protect the environment,” Blanco-Alcala said. “She also wants to protect Medicaid.”

The mock election was part of the Youth Leadership Initiative. The goal of this organization is to encourage students to start thinking about voting and participating in the democratic process.

“If a freshman has multiple opportunities to vote and begins to see voting as a common practice that they are expected to engage in then we have begun them down the road towards being part of an active citizenry,” Murphy said. “We can then hand those students over to our government teachers who will engage them in the information they will need to understand our government and guide them towards a variety of materials that will allow them to establish and/or strengthen their political ideologies.”