WPAC, AP Government class host 2012 mock election

by Solinna Chong, Associate Editor

Wheeling Political Action Club (WPAC) and the AP Government class teamed up together to start a mock election for the 2012 election.  The purpose of the mock election was to educate students on how to actually vote.

Voter registration took place during all lunch periods from Oct. 15 to Oct. 19, debates will be on Oct. 31 by Omar Joya and Katrina Gustafson, seniors, and the actual mock election will take place on Nov. 6.

Students who wish to participate in the mock election have to fill out a mock applicant sheet and do a survey.  Participants can be from any grade.

“It’s important to vote because the decisions that the government makes will impact the lives of our youth,” Sandra Chico, AP Government teacher and WPAC sponsor, said.

The reason the mock election was created, according to Ms. Chico, is to educate the most unrepresentative group in terms of voter turnout: the youth.

“Some students may not care.  They think there’s no meaning to the mock election, but every person’s vote counts and needs to express their opinion in the political world,” Tyler Levy, senior, said.

For the mock election, WPAC made posters and announcements to promote the voter registration.

“If I were 18, I would vote.  I would love to officially be a part of the ‘people,’” Simi Kang, sophomore, said.

As for the AP Government class, students have organized ways to present information about the candidates and voting.

Zygi Jasiunas, senior, has done research about the issues and candidates involved with the election.

“We are giving someone the job of leading the whole country.  It’s important to vote for who you believe is the better choice,” Jasiunas said.

For the past month, students have been hearing news and debates about the candidates, what they stand for, what they will do to improve the nation and so on.

“Students should do research, listen to debates and be aware of economic, social and foreign issues,” Ms. Chico said.  “They should not be swayed by TV ads, which are aimed at selling a product and not informing voters.”

Along with Ms. Chico, Mike Hurley, English teacher is also involved with helping the mock election.

Likewise, Ms. Chico, Crystal Ellis-Abdullah, math teacher and John Uhrik, English teacher, are volunteered registrars for the actual election and can legally register students who qualify.

“It’s extremely valuable in educating all students about the election process and their rights, duties and the issues our nation faces,” Ms. Chico said. “As long as I have the opportunity to teach government, I will promote the mock election.”