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R-HHS students vote in mock election

Students and teachers at Randolph-Henry High School recently took part in a national mock election. Students used a state-of-the-art online voting system as they participated in a mock election program, sponsored by the Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI), a national civic education program based at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

With approximately 1 million students voting nationwide during the two-week voting period from Oct. 17-28, the YLI Mock Election was the largest secure, student-only online mock election in the nation. The Randolph-Henry Youth and Government Club coordinated the mock election locally to promote civic awareness in its students, and the inherent importance of participation in governmental affairs. The election also promoted an appreciation of American democracy in action and American Exceptionalism.

“We are excited for our library to be the school site for our mock election.” R-HHS Librarian Shelby Walker said before the mock election. “Voting is one of our most important civic responsibilities. We are glad to have this opportunity to encourage our students to participate. Participating in a mock election is good preparation for being a responsible adult citizen.”

A national research study conducted by University of Virginia Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato and Chief of Staff Ken Stroupe found, conclusively, that YLI’s instructional components can have a positive impact on students. Stroupe found “students in classes where teachers used the YLI Mock Election and the related lesson plans reported a higher tendency towards future political participation.”

Sabato added, “Programs such as the YLI Mock election have the opportunity to excite students about our democracy. Students are empowered with a sense of “I can” optimism that will lead to a lifetime of civic involvement.”

Results of the YLI National Mock Election were scheduled to be released Oct. 29.