Palmetto’s Mock Elections

Bella Martin, Sports Editor

On Monday, Nov. 2, Miami Palmetto Senior High School plans to host a mock election for students. On this day, students can vote for the President and Vice President, as well as for Florida state representatives. 

Starting on Monday, Oct. 26, students can register to vote through the National Mock Election website. 

Every election year since 2012, the activities department has put together this mock election to encourage students from all grade levels to get involved in the political process. This year, however, Palmetto added in a spirit week and debate in order to promote the events.

“We’re calling voter registration day ‘Merica Monday so students can dress up in patriotic and red, white, and blue clothes to encourage others to register to vote,” Palmetto Activities Director Elizabeth Valero said.

Other spirit days of the week include TikTok Tuesday, Breast Cancer Awareness Wednesday, Class Color Thursday, and Freaky Friday.    

In addition to the election and spirit week, Palmetto plans to host a debate for all students to watch. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, many of the initial plans surrounding the event changed. 

“My initial vision of the debate before COVID was a full room of students in the library with members of different clubs participating and the audience engaging,” Palmetto senior and debate organizer Jesse Weingarden said.

Despite the pandemic, however, Weingarden and the activities department at Palmetto have designed an alternative debate that the school will film live and distribute to students through their history class. 

“Politics has become an important part of our lives this year and I believe it is necessary for students to be updated and engaged on public issues,” Weingarden said.

The debate, moderated by Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics and Advanced Placement Comparative Government and Politics teacher Kenneth Spiegelman, will feature members from several clubs and honor societies to discuss their stances on important issues that face our country. For example, students can debate on topics from immigration to healthcare to women’s reproductive rights. Student fact-checkers will also sit in on the debate and check claims to ensure their accuracy.

With the 2020 presidential election occurring this year, many high school students have felt more inclined than ever to get involved with politics for the first time.

It is important for us to get involved because we will be voting in the next election. In the past four years, teens have experienced and watched change in our nation,” Palmetto junior Jordyn Lazar said. “We can grow with each other by listening to others opinions because there are many world problems that we need to be educated on.”