Liberty Rocks The Vote

Students show up at the mock polls


Sarah Downs

Junior Keaton Roof displays his “I Voted” sticker on his forehead.

Irem Inan, Reporter

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the library doors were opened for the school’s first-ever mock election. Students across grade levels were presented with the same options that eligible Missouri residents will fill out at the polls next Tuesday, Nov. 3. 

“When they turn 18, there’s no, like, ‘This is how you do it,’” librarian Mrs. Oliva said. “So we’re just practicing. This is a life skill and we’re just going to go through the motions and see how our Liberty community would vote.”

A lot is up to voters this year: President and Vice President; seats in the House; seats in the Senate; Governor; Attorney General; statewide Constitutional Amendments; and more. Oliva wanted to emphasize the importance of this through the mock election. 

“It’s important to be informed about what you’re going to see on the ballot because it’s not just President and Vice President,” Oliva said.

There were 261 students who voted in the election.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris may have been elected as President and Vice President, respectively, with 50.2% of the votes, but there was an emphasis on other office positions, too. Through the mock election, Nicole Galloway would be the new Governor of Missouri with 47.3% of the votes. Jill Schupp would be the new US Representative for district 2 with 47.1% of the votes.

Some Liberty students are going to be eligible to cast their ballots next week on Election Day. By holding this mock election, Oliva wants to make sure that they’re prepared and comfortable to do so. But, moreover, she believes the younger generation is already up to the challenge, even before many of them are of age.

“We’ve seen such an amazing voter turnout in the real election this year already with people having done absentee voting,” Oliva said. “I think that our younger generation is just more and more fired up about their future and they know that, by voting, they have a say in what happens. And that’s really exciting.”

“I Voted” stickers were available for grabs for students who exercised their right to mock-vote. (Sarah Downs)

Students share Oliva’s excitement. 

“I feel like I have very strong opinions already,” junior Athena Widlacki said. “I feel like they’re valid. I have reasons to back them up. I research a lot, and I like to be involved in the news, and I feel like [the mock election] was a good way to be involved in politics at my school.”

Many of the students who came out to vote on Oct. 27 and 28, including Widlacki, were encouraged to by their social studies teachers. 

“[What inspired me to vote today] was the fact that I was required to for class,” junior Kent Masten said. “I mostly stay involved just by keeping updated on all this stuff and talking about it to other people. But, for the most part, I’m not old enough to participate.”

Staying informed was a common priority for the students gathered at the library. Oliva, in anticipation of this, shared a Wakelet for teachers to pass onto their students. It contains relevant information regarding the upcoming presidential election, along with facts about voting in general. This ranges from voting rights around the world to foreign ideas that the United States’ elections could benefit from.

“I use things like the [St. Louis] Post-Dispatch, which has a voter guide that you can go through. It gives you a little blurb about each of the candidates or what the amendment is, for example, and you can actually go in and select your candidates in advance of going in to vote,” Oliva said. “So you know when you go in there, you’re not like, ‘Oh, I have no idea what this issue is.’ You can have that prepared, take it in, and use your phone, and use that saved version to decide on what candidates you want to actually vote for.”

Though neither are yet old enough to fill out their own voter guides, both Masten and Widlacki understand the importance of voting.

“We can represent what we want the country to look like,” Masten said. “That’s the whole point of democracy.”

“Even though it’s one small vote, it can build up,” Widlacki said.

Young voters continue to impress voter turnout records, both real and fake. For Oliva, the point of holding the mock elections was to send a message out to the Liberty student body:

“Vote,” Oliva said. “If you’re 18, if you’re a student at Liberty, vote!”

261 people participated in the mock election. The election concluded on Wednesday with the following results:

Lt. Governor: Canady (45%)
Secretary of State: Faleti (43.3%)
State Treasurer: Englund (43%)
Attorney General: Finneran (44.4%)
State Rep, District 102: Grundy (52.2%)
Circuit Judge, Circuit 11, Division 1: McKelvey (92.3%)
Associate Circuit Judge, Division 13: Hammond (53.3%)
Associate Circuit Judge, Division 14: Smith (91.1%)
MO Supreme Court Judge Breckenridge will be retained (71.4% yes)
Eastern District MO Court of Appeals Judge Odenwald will be retained (67% yes)
Eastern District MO Court of Appeals Judge Ransom will be retained (69.2% yes)
Amendment 1: Yes (61.3%)
Amendment 3: Yes (51.6%)