By Moira Kellaher
When adult voters head to the polls on November 8, North Warren students don’t need to feel left out. The school’s Junior State of America club (JSA) is organizing a mock election for the school, and every student will have the opportunity to participate.
North Warren’s mock election will run similarly to the real election. Students must register to vote before Election Day by filling out a form with their name, address, grade level, and the elementary school they attended. (Students should see Mrs. Murphy or a JSA member during lunch for a form if they have not already registered.) Students who have registered will receive a voter registration card with an area of NWR designated as their “voting district” based on their sending elementary school. On November 8, students will go to their assigned spot during their study hall and cast their ballot for America’s president.
The purpose of the mock election is to give students a chance to experience the election process. Mrs. Murphy, supervisor of the JSA club, says that participating in the event is important because it will help students “gain an understanding of what it will be like when they’re going to vote for the first time.” She and the students involved in JSA strongly encourage everyone, staff and students alike, to register to vote and participate in the election.
The JSA club has been preparing for the mock election for weeks. “A lot of work goes into the mock elections,” Danielle Pergola, president of the JSA club, told the Patriot Press. “We have several meetings a week to organize everything. We had to make and organize the forms, create the ballots, make ledgers for voting, etc.” She and other members of JSA have already spent many hours organizing the event and are excited for everything to come together on Election Day.
North Warren conducted its first mock election in 2008 and planned for the event to be held every four years. The 2012 mock election, however, was a frustrating experience: After the JSA organizers spent weeks preparing, organizing and alphabetizing forms, and typing out voter cards, Hurricane Sandy closed North Warren for the week of the election and the mock election couldn’t take place. It was a disappointing blow to the JSA club, according to Mrs. Murphy. She and the students in the club are hoping for a better outcome this year.