Mock-Election at PVHS

PVHS students experience their first election environment.


Ana Gonzalez casting her vote.

Sabrina Jaynes, Editor

The classroom where students were lined up to cast their ballot.

   While not a Tuesday, on October 25th 2018, seniors at Pahrump Valley High School were ushered into Room 3 to participate in a mock-voting ballot. This was a first for many of the students, as most have not voted, and will not be old enough to vote in this upcoming election.

  As students approached the sign-in tables, they were led off into different lines separating by last names. Each table had a book where students could personally sign next to their name, allowing for effective record keeping. Students were then given a slip of paper as they walked into the classroom, containing the username and password to use for the voting system. Chromebooks were set up around the room so multiple students could vote at once, although there was not a barrier to protect privacy.

  “The event was set up as close as possible to a real life voting precinct,” stated Ms.Camberdella, a government teacher at PVHS. The event was passed to Government teacher Ms.Martin this year, as she has previously done it at another school, and she made sure to go the extra mile. In previous years at PVHS, many students would just vote in their government classes, without the environment of a mock precinct.This experience allowed students to have an idea of what the situation would be like when they voted for the first time, possibly taking away any nervousness.

   The classroom was full of decorations that resembled a patriotic environment, if not entirely accurate, and it even had a mock staff running the event. There was personal leading students to the correct locations, handing out information, and there was even “security guards” to keep citizens safe.

(From left to right) Tristan Maughan, Nico Velazquez, and Deangelo Brown acting as security.

   The online program that simulated the ballot was created in 2009, when the Nevada Secretary of State received a grant to increase the participation within students for politics. Partnering with the Nevada Department of Education, it has gone a long way since the beginning, now being used at multiple schools throughout our state.

  The ballot had real life questions that will be on this upcoming ballot, real candidates and their party, and questions regarding our nation and school as a whole. Each question had a brief explanation with it, allowing students to understand what they were voting for.

  The students of Ms. Martin’s class voted Spencer Abrams, a senior, to become the precinct captain, and essentially take charge of the whole event. “I believe this is a good example of what mindset you should have going into a voting booth, and actually discover what the voting process is,” stated Abrams. He revealed that there had been some rowdy kids at the event, but the staff was able to handle it well and continue the process.

  Abrams hoped that people were taking their time to read the important stuff, “especially question 3, as it is advertised everywhere. I think it is great that they can put their input in something like this.”

  The voting room was open all day on the minimum schedule. Seniors were required to attend during their Government class, but any junior was allowed to show up and vote during their U.S. History class.

   Hayley Cuellar, Destany Ivy, and Caitlyn Chmiel, all seniors, were positioned at the doors leading into the voting room. “I think it is great that students can actually get their voice out there,” stated Ivy. Cuellar was in charge of a voting banner, where students could sign their name or state why they voted on their way out. This was created in remembrance at the event.

area for students to write their names down.

PVHS continually strides to inform and support all students in their future endeavors, including the right to vote. As it is a tradition within our country, hopefully students have taken away the motivation needed to go out and vote in our glorious country.