Weeks After Midterms, Mock Election Data Provides Insight Into Schoolwide Views

On November Fifth, the Mount Greylock students took to the polls, or at least to the folding tables in the meeting room, to participate in a mock election run by the school’s REV club.

REV, a new club at Greylock this year, which stands for Register, Educate, Vote, organized the pre-election education, managed the booths while students in grades seven through twelve voted, and counted the ballots. The mission of REV, as explained by club co-leader Maddy Art, “is to foster participation in democracy through voter registration, voter education, and election enthusiasm.” As part of “voter education,” the members of REV divided up which races and ballot questions they would learn about in order to educate others. Members wrote bios for the candidates, including their stances on recent and relevant issues. For the ballot questions, members explained the main points and presented views for each side of the ballot questions, following a structure similar to the official voter information packet released by the Secretary of Commonwealth. The candidate and ballot question summaries were displayed in the entryway of the school prior to the election in hopes of encouraging students to take the time to read them. “I think some people definitely didn’t read them all that much and just voted,” said Art of the effectiveness of REV’s efforts. “But we saw a lot of people reading in the entryway and talking about who they might vote for and having conversations so we were happy with that.”

To keep voting orderly, students came with their history classes during scheduled blocks. On the way, some groups stopped at the entryway display for one last chance to read up. Art explained that “the main reason we did this is to simulate a real voting environment and to get people in the habit of voting and show people what it’s like.” As part of this attempt, Art said they used “real ballots that look exactly the same as what you’d use at the real polls.” Art also commented on her hope that this exercise would help “people get in the mode of voting, it’s just a part of life, and it’s something you always do and it’s not scary.”

While the process went relatively smoothly for many students, there were a fair number of students who forgot to flip over the ballot and fill out the backside, which contained the ballot questions. Once students turned in their ballots to a cardboard box, their names were crossed off the complete list of students, ensuring no students voted twice and also giving an accurate count of how many students voted. “We were happy with overall participation,” said Art, “there were about 90 people who didn’t vote, which when you think about absences and that kind of stuff is pretty good.”

In the week following the election, ballots were divided up and counted by REV members. Members reported a few instances of invalid write-ins, cartoon characters and fellow students among others, but for the most part, the results reflect students’ valid votes.

All of the races were won by Democrats, reflecting a liberal lean within the school. The first question asked students to vote for a senator in Congress, a race between Democrat Elizabeth Warren, Republican Geoff Diehl, and Independent Shiva Ayyadurai. With 72.6% of the school votes for Warren, Mt. Greylock results were consistent with Berkshire County as a whole, where Warren earned 72.0% of the vote, according to the Washington Post. Looking within the towns of the Mount Greylock district, school results fell in the middle, with Warren taking 83.8% in Williamstown, 62.7% in Lanesborough, and 55.1% in Hancock, according to NBC News and the Williamstown website.

In the race for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Democrat Jay Gonzalez captured 67.7% of the vote while Republican Charlie Baker earned 44.1%. These numbers were different from the ones in Berkshire Country, where Baker won with 53.1% of the vote. In Williamstown, Gonzalez won with 59.8%, a smaller percent than within our school. Baker won in both Lanesborough and Hancock with 59.4% and 63.3%, respectively.

Ballot question 1, the proposed law to limit how many patients could be assigned to each registered nurse in Massachusetts hospitals and certain other health care facilities, was the closest poll. 67.5%  of students voted no. Questions 2 and 3 were both yes.

Full Mt. Greylock Mock Election Results:

Senator In Congress

Elizabeth A. Warren 72.6%

Diel 18.9%

Ayyadurai 8.5%

Governor and Lieutenant Governor

Gonzalez and Palfrey 67.7%

Baker and Polito 44.1%

Attorney General

Maura Healey 63.2%

James McMahon 30.7%

Secretary of State

William Francis Galvin 54.2 %

Anthony Amore 23.1%

Juan Sanchez 21.2%

Treasurer

Deborah B. Goldberg 64.1%

Keiko Orrall 19.6%

Jamie Guerin 14.8%

Auditor

Suzanne M. Bump 56.8%

Helen Brady 18.6%

Daniel Fishman 13.4%

Edward Stamas 8.0%

Councilor

Mary E. Hurley 59.0%

Mike Franco 38.0%

District Attorney

Andrea C. Harrington 92.7%

Write-In: Paul Caccaviello 2%

Register of Deeds

Maria T. Ziemba 67.7%

Deborah Moran 28.8%

Question 1

YES 38.9%

NO 56.1%

Question 2

YES 67.5%

NO 27.8%

Questions 3

YES 75.5%

NO 20.5%

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