Much has been written — and will continue to be written ad nauseum — about the “youth vote,” typically meaning voters between the ages of 18 and 24, and their potential to disrupt the political establishment and bring baby boomers to tears.
Forget about them for a moment. Let’s talk about literal youth!
More than 10,000 students in Nevada cast ballots in this year’s Student Mock Election, giving us some entirely unscientific yet still amusing insight into the minds of people who are too young to actually vote. Maybe they will even be accurate predictions for tomorrow’s grown-up races, if you can call them that.
Finalized results won’t actually be released until tomorrow, but the results so far? It’s a blue wave! They like Democrats a lot! They don’t want energy options! And don’t even think about making their school day longer!
In the contentious U.S Senate race, Democrat Jacky Rosen is handily beating incumbent Dean Heller — 4,809 to 2,408 votes. (Noteworthy: 1,299 students opted for “none of these candidates.”)
In the gubernatorial race, Democrat Steve Sisolak is beating Republican Adam Laxalt by a sizable margin — 3,874 to 2,271. (In that race, 1,705 opted for “none of these candidates.”)
In the closest race on their ballot, Democrat Steven Horsford is leading Republican Crescent Hardy by only two votes in Congressional District 3. If that doesn’t teach them not to vote for third-party candidates, nothing will!
Democrat Susie Lee crushes Republican Danny Tarkanian — 675 to 215 votes.
Democrat Dina Titus will easily retain her congressional seat, but incumbent Republican Mark Amodei will lose his to Democrat Clint Koble. Amodei also lost during the 2016 Student Mock Election, the only outcome that differed between the youth and adults that year.
As for the ballot initiatives: Marsy’s Law (Question 1) passes, the “pink tax” (Question 2) is no longer, certain medical equipment will be tax-free (Question 4), automatic voter registration (Question 5) will become a thing, and renewable energy (Question 6) is the future!
This year’s big-budget ballot question (Question 3, aka the Energy Choice Initiative, aka NV Energy versus the world) fails to pass — 3,001 yeses to 3,074 nos. That vote is a reversal from the 2016 results, where the students favored ‘Yes on 3.’
Finally, in the special youth-specific question, students were asked: Do you support changing the current school schedule to be longer but include more breaks or keeping the current school schedule?
Seventy-three percent of students voted to keep the schedule the same.
The Student Mock Election was developed by the Nevada Secretary of State’s office in partnership with the Nevada Department of Education. The program “provides schools and community-based organizations with resources to learn more about the electoral process.”
You can view all the results from the 2018 Mock Student Election here.