Students Hold Mock Election
By Anne Donofrio-Holter
South El Monte High School students participated in November’s presidential election by holding a mock election with social science teacher Gilbert Velasquez’s classroom serving as the school’s polling place.
“The students came to me and asked if I would help with a mock election they wanted to hold,” said Velasquez. “I told them that I held one each presidential election and would be happy to assist.”
According to Velasquez, the students’ primary objective was to introduce their classmates to the American voting process.
“We discussed that if they were exposed to the process early on, they were much more likely to participate in the process as citizens later in life,” he said.
Almost 600 students visited Velasquez’s classroom election day to cast their vote. Teachers volunteered to bring their students by classroom and each student was able to cast his or her individual vote in about fifteen minutes.
“The students who spearheaded the project, led by senior Meng Lin, were very successful,” said Velasquez. “Back in 2008, we had only 192 students show up to vote.”
The students handled every aspect of the polling project including set up, recruiting the voters, counting the votes and tear down.
“I was very impressed with the work and commitment of the students to this project,” said Velasquez. “Many of the teachers I spoke with were excited to have their students participate.”