Mock Elections and Katie Hill

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Mock Elections and Katie Hill

By Layali Homod, Staff Writer

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With the midterm elections steadily approaching, politics have been an especially delicate subject that prompts responses of varying degrees of intensity. Whether one cares about the current state of the United States political system or not, it is still ever looming in our society. It is critical to prepare the youth of the nation to show genuine concern about the well-being of their country, as they will continuously be affected by political changes throughout the course of their life. Thus, it is essential to adequately prepare them in order for their voices to be heard. To accomplish this, Quartz Hill High School participated in the statewide mock election as well as organized an event in which politician Katie Hill spoke in the school library, emphasizing the importance of being a voice of change.

The mock election was scheduled for October 9th, 2018, and students were able to partake in this during their history classes. However, some students did not have the opportunity to participate since they were not enrolled in any history classes, possibly altering the results of the ballots as well as the intended message and purpose of the mock election. Nonetheless, many students participated in the mock election, advancing student political awareness.

In regards to the mock election experience, the general consensus was the same: it was not something that was taken seriously. Sophomore Leah Casamalhuapa shared, “The mock election wasn’t well organized and it did not change my views on voting… Most people were just voting with their friends.” There was a false pretense that the mock election would be quite similar to the real thing, which was not the case, as voting was not an isolated process. Sophomore Ethan Hodgdon opined, “… it was pretty held together, but could have been better. There were too many people, and it took a while [to vote]. People often copied others’ votes and didn’t take it seriously.” Senior Carlos Carchi shared a similar view, stating that “Other people didn’t seem to take it as seriously as it was supposed to be.” In contrast to its name, the mock elections serve to simulate the true elections, not mock it. This year, though, the event did the latter, proving both pointless and a negative experience for our future voters.

In addition to the mock elections, Katie Hill, the Democratic politician running for Congress, was scheduled to speak at QHHS on October 12, 2018, in the library. The event, organized mainly by the Student Action Committee, was advertised throughout the school via morning announcements and informational fliers taped across campus. The free pizza mentioned in the fliers was a notable perk used to encourage more students to attend the event and further their political discussion. At approximately 4 P.M., Mrs. Hill showed up after students settled in. Mrs. Hill first introduced herself and then allowed the floor to be opened up to questions. Several students voiced their opinions and questions, leading to a positive discussion with zero hostility. Afterward, individuals were given the opportunity to speak to Mrs. Hill on a more personal level, another positive experience for all. The event ended around 4:45 P.M. when Mrs. Hill had to leave.

When asked about the meaning of the event, member of the Student Action Committee, Antonio Caceres had responded, “It was great to see something that started as an idea come to life. While I contributed minimally in the event’s planning, it was amazing being a part of it. I always felt it was important to hold politicians, and prospective ones, accountable to the people. I feel like it benefits the community and school as a whole to hear from someone seeking to represent us despite our inability to vote. It was a fantastic experience and makes me feel like I contributed to the American democratic process directly.” When questioned about the motives and possible repercussions of the free pizza advertisements, Caceres said, “The premise of free pizza was, in fact, a source of attention for many; but, in my opinion, did not hinder the event’s overall outcome. It brought out people that would not have initially been interested in politics to join the conversation. It was also an extra reward for those who are themselves genuinely interested, but served its purpose drawing a diverse audience. While some may have come for the pizza, they stayed and contributed to the dialogue that occurred and made the event better for it.” Casamalhuapa shared a similar stance on the topic, sharing that, “… the free pizza was a good offering because, even if people don’t care much about politics, they still came because of the pizza, and hopefully they learned something new.”

Quartz Hill High School has allowed politics to become an open and encouraged discussion through the events organized. This step greatly helped introduce the concept of actively participating in the nation’s elections to the students of QHHS. With this active persistence, our youth are more likely to comprehend just how much power they have and use this power to become a voice of change for their nation in the future.

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