Mock Election 2018: Francis Lewis Mocks the Vote


Katerina Ventouratos

The students representing political candidates Andrew Cuomo, Marc Molinaro, Larry Sharpe, Stephanie Miner, and Howie Hawkins engaging in a passionate debate revolving around New York Infrastructure.

Francis Lewis High School held a Mock Election on November 5 to educate high school students about the election process and the current political elections. During the mock election, students step into the shoes and speak from the perspective of current political candidates running for various positions in the New York state government, while engaging in discussion and debate about real world issues.

Listening and thinking about real world issues inspires students to contribute to society in the future, helping them realize how crucial it is to vote.

“Mock election is like the trial of how an election would go in the real world,” sophomore Jalia Gordon said. “It’s just like a practice run. It helps me prepare for the real election when it’s my time to vote.”

Katerina Ventouratos
Students present opening statements prior to the mock election debate.

Last year, multiple students recreated the same election each period. This year’s mock election was particularly engaging, as those in charge decided to focus on multiple debates rather than one specific election.  Teachers decided it would be more effective if the mock election covered the Gubernatorial Election, Senator Election, and Sixth Congressional District. As a result, those who participated were offered the chance to learn something new from the experience.

“When students sat in on an election, it was one that they didn’t actually do research on,” Social Studies Assistant Principal Mr. Shin said. “It was actually something new for them to see.”

“In years past, students would research 2 to 3 weeks for a specific candidate,” Mr. Shin added.  “They would watch a whole 45 minute debate in which they kind of already knew all the answers, which is great, but at the same time it wouldn’t be as interesting to them because they already knew ahead of time what their candidate would say.” 

Katerina Ventouratos
US Government students displayed posters informational posters around the school to either advocate or discredit specific candidates.

Students were given roles in class, such as candidate, researcher, writer, campaign advertising, campaign manager, weebly website, voters’ guide team, and debate prep team. Each job plays a vital role in putting the mock election together.  In this year’s election, students represented candidates from numerous political parties. The candidates were American politicians Andrew Cuomo, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Grace Meng from the Democratic Party, Marc Molinaro and Chele Farley from the Republican Party, Howie Hawkins and Tom Hillgardner from the Green Party, Larry Sharpe from the Libertarian Party, and Stephanie Miner, an independent candidate. Students worked both independently and as a team, and those who participated in the debate gained public speaking and debate skills.

“It’s all the teachers,” Mr. Shin said. “They’re the great ones, they do all the planning and prepping with their students.  It’s through the teachers and the students that make mock elections [come] alive.”

Many high school students don’t have free time to watch real elections, or are not interested in public affairs. By holding a mock election, students are exposed to a key part of the voting process and become more engaged as they witness their own peers discussing major issues. 

“[It] benefits me [by] making me see things from a different point of view more easily from people I can relate to,” junior Wessam Hanon said.

Katerina Ventouratos
Participating students received “I VOTED TODAY” stickers and pins, encouraging other students to get involved in the event.Students who engage in discussion and plan for the mock election conduct extensive research for their roles. They learn research skills, find accurate sources, and base their responses from days of preparation. Their dedication to their roles and accuracy in research were evident, as the results of this year’s mock election were very similar to the results of the actual election results. For instance, American Politician Andrew Cuomo won the Gubernatorial Election for both the mock election and New York Governor Election.

“[It] prepares them to know how to source information,” Mr. Shin said. “What’s a reliable website? Just don’t go to any person’s page to download their information and regurgitate it. That’s one of the processes behind it.”


“The ultimate goal is hopefully once they turn eighteen they sign up to vote,” Shin said. “Once they sign up they’ll be able to actually go out and vote. That’s the real purpose behind it.”

Katerina Ventouratos
Students are expected to complete activities as they watch the debates unfold, assuring that they gain knowledge and form political opinions.