WHS Mock Election Reveal

Faizaan Amanat, Staff Writer

  Wayzata High School participated in the statewide high school mock election on October 23rd. According to Minnesota Students Vote, a program organized by the Office of Secretary of State, 290 Minnesota high schools participated and over 46,000 students voted.
  The elections that students are holding are mock, preliminary voting to see how young people align politically. According to Senior and organizer of the mock election Dan Ginestra, the purpose of the preliminary voting was so that “students could get a close experience to an actual election. They can experience first hand what it’s like to vote, and how the process works.”
  The candidates that students chose were those who ran for the governor position. Jeff Johnson (Republican), Tim Walz (MN-Democratic-Former-Labor), Chris Wright (Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis), Josh Welter (Libertarian), and a write in option was available. Wayzata students voted for Tim Walz by only eight more than Jeff Johnson.
  Schools that were closer to the Minneapolis area voted Democratic, whereas more rural areas outside of the metropolitan area voted more libertarian or conservative.
  At Wayzata, Tim Walz received 139 votes, Jeff Johnson got 131 votes, Wright had 34, Welter had 10, and 25 were write-ins. Those 25 write-ins could have affected the results of legitimate candidates who ran for governor. Wayzata is split in terms of political beliefs. Most students lean left, but it’s a slight majority, and has voters divided all across the board based on the results.
  Wayzata’s low voter turnout could be considered concerning compared to other schools. Elk River and Robbinsdale had over thousands of voters, where Wayzata had 339 voters.
  According to Ginestra, the “awareness or overall caring of politics” affected the low turnout of Wayzata students. In order to have students vote, “more awareness about the mock elections should be raised.”
  The preliminary elections will happen again during the 2020 presidential elections.