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Student government to host mock election on day before national election

| Monday, November 2, 2020

Notre Dame student government will hold a mock election for the school Monday, before Election Day Tuesday. Due to COVID-19 concerns, voting will be online through Qualtrics.

Student government will send out an email to the entire student body at 7 a.m. Monday, and the virtual polls will close at 6 p.m.

Riya Shah, director of national management in student government, said a mock election gives students an opportunity to get to know what it is like to be civically engaged. At the same time, it allows international students and undocumented students who cannot cast their vote the chance to experience the American electoral system.

“Since this is the first presidential election for everyone on campus, it’s very interesting, and … Even the seniors who I do know have mentioned that they don’t think anything like a real mock election happened last time around,” Shah said. “I know that a lot of other universities and high schools have this in the U.S, and I feel that this mock election would be a great opportunity to understand where the student body stands.”

Unlike the U.S. presidential election, the student government mock election will not be following the electoral college system.

“We initially proposed that each dorm would not represent a different state and would be given a certain number of electoral votes,” Shah said.

After talking with students who expressed concerns about having their entire dorm lean to one party, Shah said they decided not to use the electoral college system in order to be more inclusive.

Shah said they decided that a popular vote would be more appropriate, with whichever candidate receiving the most votes winning the mock election.

“However, we are going to try and calculate the electoral college votes as well … and report that as well to see if the results from the popular vote would align with the electoral college,” Shah said.

Instead of analyzing the specific results of each dorm, Shah said they will look at trends across different areas on campus, such as South Quad, North Quad, West Quad and more.

There will also be an election night event hosted by College Democrats, College Republicans, ND Votes, BridgeND and student government to talk about the implications of the mock results, and what it means for Notre Dame’s campus and civil discourse.

“Through the mock election, it is our intention to foster civic engagement, mobilize students to political activity and promote fruitful dialogue,” senior and student body president Rachel Ingal said.

Ingal said by holding the mock election, student government also strives to help students be more aware of this historic election.

“We hope that the exercise will serve as a launchpad for person-to-person conversation, with the goal of empathetic understanding,” Ingal said. “It is our aim to keep our campus aware of the national moment and its importance, in order to be discerning citizens who advocate for the common good.”

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