C-G turns out for mock election; Trump wins

With the 2016 election upon us, it brings us back to Cary-Grove’s own mock election, which occurred several weeks ago. Run by the McHenry County Clerk’s Office and the League of Women Voters of McHenry County, Cary-Grove’s mock election had the highest turnout in the area. (read our staff’s analysis of the results here)

Cary-Grove had the highest participation in McHenry County, with 1,140 student voters, or 66% of the student body. This is impressive compared to schools like Crystal Lake Central, who had 863 voters. Huntley High School had a total of 1,100 student and teacher voters, but this only accounted for about 45% of the student/teacher body.

Students had many different reasons for taking part in this mock election. Some of which were academic, some of which were political, and some of which were for competition’s sake.

“My number one motivation to vote [was] to prove that Cary-Grove is the best in the district and in the McHenry County Area,” junior Megan Sejud said.

Some social science teachers offered extra credit to those who voted, such as AP U.S. History. Others went down as a class, as was the case with AP European History.

“I voted for the extra credit in U.S. History,” junior Amanda Matthaei said. Many other students did the same.

“I voted because I’m interested in it, and I wanted to know what it would be like in four years when I actually vote for real,” freshman Maggie Medynskyj said.

“I did vote in the mock election, because I think being involved in politics is important, even though I can’t vote,” junior William Pickering said.

Of course there were those who didn’t vote.

“I didn’t vote in the mock election because at that point there was not a candidate that I favored over the others. I don’t follow politics very much,” junior Ashley Peldiak said.

“I did not vote in the mock election,” senior Ellie Johnson said. “I never made it to the polls.”

Students cited various influences that impacted their political views. Pickering mentioned TV shows such as John Oliver and Bill Maher. “But most of all, facts and history,” he said.

“I like to fact check and not just believe what I see on Instagram,” Medynskyj said. “[Social media] influences me a little bit, but mostly I form [my views] on my own. I know a lot of it is false.”

Both Johnson and Peldiak cited the views of a candidate or party as the biggest factors in making their decisions.

“My political views are mostly influenced by the candidate’s stances on climate change, the LGBT community, immigration, and terrorism,” Peldiak said.

The results of the presidential mock election were as follows: Republican nominee Donald Trump received 446 votes, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton received 421 votes, Libertarian Gary Johnson received 109 votes, the Green Party’s Jill Stein received 107 votes, and there were 50 write-ins.

Rumors that the senior class conspired to vote for Jill Stein and the freshman class conspired to vote for Donald Trump were circulating, but neither has been confirmed.

There also was talk about Trump’s victory, many claiming it was because the community is conservative. In reality, Trump and Clinton’s votes were nearly equal, mirroring their real-life support. As of November 7, according to The New York Times, Clinton has a 45.9% polling average, and Trump has a 42.7% polling average.

At the end of the day, Cary-Grove students, and the rest of the world, will have to wait and see which U.S. Presidential candidate is chosen on Election day.