As the United States prepares to elect a president and other public officials on Tuesday, Nov. 6, students and teachers in 18 high schools in DuPage County, including York High School, participated in mock elections during the first week of October.
Thanks to a grant from the DuPage Election Commission, students were able to vote on the actual voting machines, ballots and vote tabulators used in polling places.
A total of 1,679 York students from 63 social studies classes participated in the mock election Oct. 3, sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the York Social Studies Department. According to official results, President Barack Obama won re-election with 896 votes. Mitt Romney garnered 544 votes, Gary Johnson got 67, Jill Stein got 81, and write-in candidates received a total of 91.
Democratic incumbent Mike Quigley won in the 5th Congressional District with 829 votes to Republican challenger Dan Schmitt's 588.
On the DuPage County Advisory referendum, which reads: Should Illinois law permit an individual to hold two or more public elected offices simultaneously?" 1,095 students voted no, and 553 voted yes.
The Elmhurst referendum on dual-elected duty was not included in the mock election, nor were state Senate, state House or DuPage County races.
“We have a long history of community involvement and leadership, including nonpartisan election activities, such as sponsoring candidate debates and town hall meetings on important public issues,” said Jan Dorner, president of the League of Women Voters of Illinois. "Our work with high schools and elementary schools in organizing mock elections is a particularly rewarding experience."
Social studies teachers worked closely with League representatives to maximize student participation. Students experienced the entire voting process, from registering to vote to casting ballots. Students who turn 18 by the date of the election will be eligible to register and vote on Nov. 6.