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Students Test Out the Voting Waters

Mock election prepares HSU students for local issues on ballot

Humboldt State University’s Associated Students held a mock election with the help of the Politics Club Feb. 24 in the University Center Quad. On the ballot were candidates for both the Democratic and Republican primaries, as well as local election measures.

“We’re gathering data from the student population about what would happen if we held the election today,” Legislative Vice President of Associated Students Jeremiah Finley said.

The mock election gave students the opportunity to take a closer look at which candidates were on the ballot. When the results are released, students can gain a new insight into the perspectives of other students.

“Some of the measures that were posted—I was like, ‘What is this?’”

Tashenea Young

“We’re trying to make sure our students at HSU are more educated about the decisions that they’re making,” Finley said. “This will give the students the opportunity to go back in and really investigate.”

Tashenea Young is a computer science and math education major who felt more informed about the upcoming election because she participated in the mock elections.

“Some of the measures that were posted—I was like, ‘What is this?’” Young said.

Young said mock elections like the one on Monday are a step in the right direction for helping to inform the student body, but events like the mock election need more publicity to reach more people.

“It’s better than nothing,” Young said.

Real measures weren’t the only questions on the ballot. It also included a mock referendum on fluoridated water.

Paul Hilton, an HSU politics major and member of the Politics Club, helped organize the mock election. He was curious about how students would vote concerning fluoride. He said that although there wouldn’t be a referendum on fluoridated water on the ballot in March, it was close to being on the ballot in November.

“It was a step away from Arcata putting it on the Arcata ballot,” Hilton said. “After a whole lot of community city hall meetings and discussions, it was a 3-2 vote to not put it on the ballot.”

Hilton hoped the mock election would help professors as well as students.

“One of the questions was, ‘What day of the week is worst for you when it comes to nighttime deadlines?’” Hilton said. “So, one of those actually has informative results that we’ll tally up that might be able to go to professors.”

Although Hilton was glad for the mock election, he thought there was room for improvement. The ballots were printed on colored paper and didn’t resemble voting material. Hilton said this may have discouraged potential voters.

“People are more likely to pick up a pamphlet,” Hilton said. “If I was just going by, I’d be like, ‘What’s this kid’s construction paper kind of stuff just hanging out? I’m not interested in this.’”

California votes Tuesday, March 3. Associated Students are now more experienced for their real elections, and students can take more knowledge on local issues to the polls.

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