Election 2018: Who should win, according to Nevada children

student voting
Students at Rex Bell Elementary School used real voting machines to cast ballots for their student council elections in January 2017. Like the statewide Mock Student Election, that program encouraged civic engagement in children too young to vote.
student voting
Students at Rex Bell Elementary School used real voting machines to cast ballots in their student council elections in January 2017. Like the statewide Student Mock Election, that program encouraged civic engagement in children too young to vote.

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.

April Corbin
Reporter | April Corbin is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. Most recently she covered local government for Las Vegas Sun. She has also been a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of its student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. April serves as treasurer of the Society of Professional Journalists Las Vegas pro chapter and is an at-large member of the Asian American Journalists Association. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise. She lives with her boyfriend, his toddler, three mutts and five chickens. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, exploring Nevada and defending selfies.

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