EAST PROVIDENCE — The voters have spoken, at least they gave their input even though it doesn't actually count. Nonetheless, students at East Providence High School cast their lot with Hillary Clinton in the quadrennial mock presidential election held there.
The election, overseen by the EPHS Social Studies Department and chair Mike Silva, took place on Wednesday morning, Oct. 26, 13 days prior to the actual vote on November 8. Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic nominee, earned 50 percent of the vote, the so-called "magic number" most pollsters agree would propel the former First Lady and Secretary of State into the Oval Office.
Republican nominee Donald Trump received 30 percent of the EPHS student vote, while 20 percent voted for third-party candidates such as Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. One-time Democratic primary candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont also received votes even though he is not on the official ballot.
According to Mr. Silva, about 1,100 students from grades 9-12 cast their ballots. Michaela Alarie spoke on behalf of the Young Republicans in support of Mr. Trump and Ashley Shankar spoke on behalf of the Young Democrats in support of Mr. Clinton. Teachers John Turbitt and Keith Anderson are the advisors, respectively, for the EPHS Young Democrats and Young Republicans clubs.
In thanking students and staff for their participation, Mr. Silva quipped, "As they say, so goes East Providence, so goes the nation."
Mr. Silva's comments may have been tongue-in-cheek, but the vote at EPHS followed that done in the national mock election of high school students conducted by the Channel One student news service. Across the country, Mrs. Clinton won the vote by a margin of 47-41 percent, giving her a 365-173 victory based on the Electoral College.
Mrs. Clinton won the "swing states" of Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida and Nevada, while also winning the traditionally Republican states of Texas and Arizona, two states seemingly in play for the Democratic nominee in the actual election as well. Three states in which Mrs. Clinton is not realistically considered to have a chance of winning by the punditry — Mississippi, Alaska and Missouri — also went her way.
Mr. Trump won the swing state of Ohio as well as the traditionally Democratic leaning Michigan and Minnesota, like those that unexpectedly went Mrs. Clinton's way not thought to be winnable for him on November 8.
According to anecdotes from the Channel One election, two of the most significant issues identified as of importance to the high school students were that of climate change and gun control.