The 2016 United States presidential election arrived a week early at ASB when students voted in a mock election after listening to a mock debate Oct. 30.
The program, the first of its kind at ASB, was prepared and presented by the Advanced Placement US Government and Politics class. The AP students assumed the roles of pundits, journalists and candidates in a 45-minute session for secondary students.
Tenma Uchiyhama, one of two Americans in the class, opened with a PowerPoint that explained the complicated United States electoral system. Then Kintaro Taniguchi and Natcha Tanaviboonsate served as moderators for a lively exchange between Patrick Fermin, the other American in class, who represented the Democrats and Hillary Clinton and Pabi Mohlala who represented the Republicans and Donald Trump.
Tenma who spent many hours preparing his presentation said, “I learned so much about the American election. It’s quite complicated.”
Patrick Clinton and Pabi Trump tried to clarify as they answered prepared questions on immigration, abortion and gun control. When not interrupting and insulting each other, the answers paralleled the actual candidates’ views and drew laughter, applause and eye rolls from the audience of secondary students and teachers. The candidates’ debate was followed by actual campaign commercials.
Those secondary students also asked questions forcing the candidates to offer unrehearsed answers to the previously unseen answers.
After the last question was answered, students voted in homerooms, each homeroom representing a state with electoral votes equal to its citizens. Classes 10-A and 10-B were the largest with 23 ASB electoral votes and class 9-B was the smallest with nine votes.
The final tally showed a landslide for (Patrick) Hillary Clinton who crushed (Pabi) Donald Trump 122-51 in the popular vote and 214-15 in the electoral count.
The AP government program concluded on Monday, Nov. 7 when the candidates visited Ms. Christina’s first grade class.
Maybe the toughest challenge of all was to explain the process to students who were barely born at the time of the last election. After listening to a simplified PowerPoint on the election and asking question of Pabi Donald and Natcha Hillary, the first grade voted.
Pabi Donald promised an end to homework and Natcha Hillary promised better food and no punishment for forgotten assignments. Those campaign pledges worked as the first grade, like their secondary counterparts voted Hillary in a landslide, 9-3.