As the political arena heats up, Washington High School students will have the opportunity to cast their votes in a mock election at the school this Friday.

Becky Herbst, WHS world studies teacher, Clinton Schneider, social studies teacher, and Debbie Door, Franklin County clerk, worked to organize the election, which will be as close to the real election as possible.

Like the election in November, students had to preregister. Students also will check in on iPads, show identification, sign the voter log and choose their candidates.

“I hope the students understand the significance of the election process and hope that they have more faith in the election process itself,” Door said. “I’m hoping they’ll understand their votes do count.”

The ballot will include national and state races.

This year will mark Herbst’s fourth mock election at the school. So far, students have selected the correct presidential candidate in the past three elections, she said, adding that it’s amazing to see the political process take place.

Without telling students how to vote, teachers explain the candidates’ platforms and lead discussions on the candidates.

“The social studies teachers do a really good job with this,” Herbst said.

The more students know about the election process, the more likely they are to vote when they are old enough, she said.

“We want them to understand what the candidates want to do and not just listen to commercials,” Herbst said.

Voting will be held this Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. in the CJB auditorium. Results will be announced Monday, Oct. 8.

A voter registration drive for the November election also was held at the school.

Youth Participation

In addition to the mock election, students also have the opportunity for “youth participation” in the November general election.

Youth participation is organized through Door’s office.

So far, about six to nine students have registered to help Election Day with organizing, checking voters in, directing voters to the correct polling venue and other duties.

To participate, students have to be at least 15 and not yet 18, Door said.