Sokol Delisi Organizes Schoolwide Mock Election


Senior Sokol Delisi

By Grace Geraghty

Senior Sokol Delisi has organized a school-wide mock presidential election leading up to the 2016 general election. Using a google form survey created by Delisi, every student will be able to submit their vote for a presidential/vice presidential team.

Present on the “ballot” are Republican team Donald Trump and Mike Pence, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, Libertarians Gary Johnson and William Weld, and Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka.

One aim of this mock election is to involve students, some of whom will be voting for the first time in this year’s presidential race, and give them a chance to see the impact of their vote on a smaller scale.

“I decided to do this for Niles West because I think elections are a very important tool in our democracy, and everyone should get a chance to vote and begin practicing the process of voting at a young age,” Delisi said.

Delisi does have some experience organizing mock elections, having done one at his middle school, Lincoln Hall, back in 2012.

“This idea came from discussing with friends about having a mock election. Having prior experience with setting up a mock election at my former middle school, Lincoln Hall, I thought I might as well bring that tradition over to Niles West,” he said.

The process has been organized so that each grade level (freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors) represent a region of the electorate: Northeast, Midwest, West, or South. Each will control the electoral votes in that area. Seniors will control the region with the most electoral votes, juniors the second most, and so on. So, if the majority of the seniors vote for Trump, he will receive all the electoral votes from their assigned region.

“The section with the most votes will be going to the upperclassmen, and the section with the least votes will go to the underclassmen,” Delisi said. “In my opinion, the upperclassmen have a lot more experience and knowledge of politics and government compared to the underclassmen.”

Delisi also stressed the importance of young high school and college-aged voters, whose votes and ideologies often differ from their older counterparts.

“Young voters are a big deal to our elections and politics because they are a new wave of individuals with new and bright philosophies,” Delisi said. “Young voters set the bar for policies and laws and are usually the ones who set the tone for the role of the government.”

The inclusion of the Libertarian and Green party candidates was also a deliberate move made by Delisi, who strongly believes they deserve representation as well.

“I included the third party candidates because both of them deserve to be equally represented,” he said. “The third party candidates worked just as hard, if not harder, than the two major party candidates to be on all 50 ballots.”

At Niles West, Delisi predicts a Trump/Pence victory, though he recognizes that may not be representative of the national election.

“I predict that Donald Trump will win our school election because our school has a gender distribution of 51 percent male to 49 percent female. Males usually tend to vote for the Republican party while females are more likely to vote for the Democratic party,” he explained. “For the national election, I believe Hillary Clinton will win because people believe it’s time to have a woman president, and they say she is more qualified than Trump. However, it is still too premature to call the race as key battleground states are tightening in the polls and due to the discovery of new Clinton emails.”

Students will receive their mock election ballot in the form of a Google survey sent through their school emails. Once they fill out their school ID number and grade level, they will be able to select a president and vice president. The mock election will open at 8:10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, the same day as the real election. Voting will continue through eighth period, which ends at 2:36 p.m. During ninth period, Delisi will tally the votes, and the winner will be declared at the end of the school day.