Nov. 4, 2022
High school holds mock election
The Upper St. Clair High School Law & Politics Club – a nonpartisan, legal and political awareness club – held its biennial Mock Election on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022.
Students stopped by the voting table throughout the day to cast their ballots for four important races: United States Senator, Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Representative in the General Assembly (42nd District), and Representative in Congress (12th District). The ballot mirrored what voters will see in the official election on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Mr. Sivillo and club members view the mock election as an opportunity to share information about elected positions as well as the importance of voting.
“Mock elections naturally encourage students to be aware of the civic process and provide them with an avenue to be engaged with the important 2022 midterm elections, even if their vote does not actually count,” Ron Sivillo, social studies teacher and club sponsor, said. “Students naturally become engrossed in conversations about the candidates, their ideas, political parties, and the electoral process itself. It also supports a critical component of the redesigned social studies curriculum at the high school; this curriculum prompts students to become civically engaged members of society, especially through the eleventh grade American Civic Engagement class and its CAPstone project.”
The Law & Politics Club typically holds mock elections for all primary and general elections. Club members handle all aspects of organizing and supervising the event. Mr. Sivillo hopes that these efforts help instill important habits as students transition into future voters.
“We want students to not only understand the electoral process but to also enjoy the process, be invested in what the outcomes of the races may mean for our country, and most importantly, develop the habits of responsible citizenship, the most critical habit being that of the act of voting,” he said.
In October, the Law & Politics Club hosted a virtual Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Candidate Forum with Green Party candidate Michael Bagdes-Canning and Libertarian candidate Timothy McMasters.
“While Lt. Governor candidates are now on a ticket along with the party's gubernatorial candidates, they tend to garner very little media attention,” Mr. Sivillo said. “However, our youth is increasingly curious about electoral variety and typically welcome the chance to explore varying political perspectives.”
Ultimately, the Law & Politics Club hopes its efforts encourage voter turnout in official elections.