Clinton finishes in first by two votes

Hillary Clinton, represented by Matt Miller, and Donald Trump, represented by Jonathan Slovak, debated hot topics from immigration to college debt.

Audrey Mannion

Hillary Clinton, represented by Matt Miller, and Donald Trump, represented by Jonathan Slovak, debated hot topics from immigration to college debt.

Linda Badaracco

Holding a mock election every four years is a “yuge” CHS tradition. Two-hundred eighty two students and faculty members cast their votes at lunch in room 107 on Oct. 25, and Hillary Clinton won the election with 23 percent of the vote, followed by Donald Trump with 22 percent.

This election season spanned from Oct. 14-25 and was CHS’s fourth mock election since the event began in 2004 as part of the National Student-Parent Mock Election.

The Inkblot has always acted as the press corps, Mulshine said.

“We’re the press and we have an interest in a fair and balanced campaign,” Mulshine said. “But the students who take on the candidate roles are the ones who really work to make it great.”

The candidates were junior Zoe McDonnell of Red Bank as Jill Stein of the Green Party, junior Matt Avena of Middletown as Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party, freshman Sawyer Barth of West Long Branch as Libertarian Gary Johnson, senior Matt Miller of Wall as Democrat Hillary Clinton and junior Jonathan Slovak of Spring Lake Heights as Republican Donald Trump.

Miller expressed his satisfaction with Clinton’s win.

“Everybody in the school seemed to have a good time comparing policies, listening to the debate and just choosing what they thought was best so I was happy about it,” Miller said.

Slovak noted the two-vote difference between Clinton and Trump.

“I think it says that there is definitely a large portion of Republicans at CHS,” Slovak said. “A lot of people just describe CHS as a liberal school, but in reality, I’d say it’s split more evenly.”

News media teacher Andi Mulshine organized the event. Students joined various groups, such as candidates’ campaigns, political action committees (PACs), Common Cause and the Election Bureau. Candidates also held rallies throughout the week, and all students received ‘Mark Money,’ which they could donate to a campaign.

The week of campaigning culminated in a debate on Oct. 21.

McDonnell was voted the winner of the debate in a survey of 36 students on Oct. 24.

“My goal was to inform more people, try to get more people to know what’s going on,” McDonnell said.

Sophomore Lily Dews of Middletown said she didn’t think students voted based on policy.

“I think people voted on whose presentation was the best and whose speeches were the most entertaining,” Dews said.

Senior Anna Soltys of Holmdel disagreed.

“I think that it was very educational since we took such a policy-driven approach to the debate,” Soltys said.

Mulshine noted a potential improvement for the 2020 mock election.

“We weren’t able to use social media as much as we wanted to, and I think that would have enriched everyone’s experience. Although social media is a double-edged sword,” Mulshine said. “I’m glad the kids could pay attention.”