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NCDS News

NCDS Holds Mock Election
On Monday, November 2, Newton Country Day held a school-wide mock election. The mock election was sponsored by the History Department and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The JFK Library is the state coordinator for the National Student/Parent Mock Election. Its voter education program engages students in grades K-12 in state and national campaigns and emphasizes the importance of voting and the power of their ballots.

The History Department worked in conjunction with the Diversity Council to sponsor the mock election. In the weeks leading up to the election, the History Department shared a series of videos to aid students in the voting process. Video topics in the Upper School included why voting is important, candidates’ stance on different policies, and the two Massachusetts ballot questions. Upper School girls went “to the polls” to vote for president, senator, and the ballot questions.

Middle School girls completed a series of activities looking at the voting process and how voting might be different this year due to COVID-19. They also read about and reflected on a history of voting rights and how voter suppression continues to surface today. Middle School students voted for president and senator.

“We must teach students the importance of voting,” said History teacher Laura Baines-Walsh. “Traditionally, voter turnout among younger Americans is significantly lower than older Americans. As a result, issues that young people care about are often ignored by those in power. Decisions are made by those who show up.”

Students were able to cast their votes safely in their cohort spaces by submitting their choices through a Google form. Newton Country Day’s ballots listed the same Presidential candidates who appeared on Massachusetts ballots, which included not only President Trump and Vice President Biden, but also Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgenson.

“This is your chance to have your voice heard,” Dr. Baines-Walsh said to students in a video message. “I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States than to cast our ballots.”