Students Voice Their Political Opinions Through Mock Election


Graph compares percentage of votes per candidate within different areas

Eila S.

On November 3rd, 2020, a presidential election was held here in the United States. At Ottoson Middle School, a mock election took place that same week. The Google Form “ballot” that Ottoson students filled out had the same questions as the ballot that Arlington voters cast. 


The mock election results show that Ottoson Middle school is a very liberal school, with a greater percentage of Democrats than the percentages in Arlington and Massachusetts as a whole. In fact, 89.5% of the 620 students at Ottoson who voted cast a ballot for Biden and Harris, compared to 82.3% in Arlington and 65.7% in Massachusetts. Although this political majority is a very large one, people in the political minority make up approximately 10 percent of Ottoson. Around 65 people voted for someone other than Joe Biden for president. 


Through this mock election, students were able to voice their political opinions. The views and beliefs of the students at Ottoson vary widely, even within specific parties or supporters of the same candidate. 


One eighth-grader who identified as Republican voted for Trump because he knew a lot more about Trump than Biden, and thought Trump did a good job with the economy. “I picked Trump over Biden because I have been following Trump more, not so much Biden. I don’t really like Biden.” Although he prefers Trump, he can also see he is not perfect and told the Insider how Trump made a lot of mistakes over his past four years as president. However, his feelings are not shared by all Trump supporters.


Another Trump supporter in eighth grade considers himself a Republican because he doesn’t like “Swamp politicians.”

“I don’t like presidents who as soon as they could be elected, got elected to Congress and didn’t do anything, that’s what the Democrats are at the moment,” he told the Insider.  He also stated that he feels the accusations made about Trump, such as him being racist and homophobic, are wrong.


Although both students who supported Trump were willing to have their names published in the Insider, it was determined best to leave them out for privacy reasons.


One student who wished to stay anonymous, a Democrat who voted for Biden, said that although they do not know a lot about Biden, they know that Trump goes against almost all of their personal beliefs. They also told the Insider that this election was very important to them. They feel it has divided the Democratic and Republican parties in our country even further than before.


When asked about what it felt like to be in the political minority, answers varied widely.  One student, who also wishes to stay anonymous, voted for Jo Jorgensen in the mock election and considers themselves a part of the Libertarian Party. “I’ve had friendships ruined….I just don’t like being in the middle of everything [conflicts between Democrats and Republicans].” The interviewee said they don’t know much about what the Libertarian Party stands for.


Some students in the political minority feel like it is hard to have almost no one to talk to about politics. Others stand by their beliefs and have no problem with being in the political minority because they feel everyone has a right to say what they want.