Pre-Recorded Speeches and a Virtual Ballot Box


Kendall Wachowiak, Staff Writer

Posters are everywhere, people walking the hallways with snacks, and an important vote coming up, one that determines the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Even though the student election will look a little different this year due to COVID-19, the feeling of competition will not be lost. 

This year’s election has 28 students running for various roles in student government, all working hard to win the majority vote. A team composed of AP US History students help candidates create their platform, make posters, along with everything else to make a successful campaign.

“I love election season, it brings students together from all over the building, and candidates don’t necessarily know their campaign so everyone is meeting new people in the process,” says Kaitlyn Gentert, the teacher who runs the election. Given that meeting with their teams in person is not an option this year, candidates are staying connected through texting and emailing, much different than in years past.

This year, candidates and their teams have to get creative to spread the word about their campaign, using social media and technology, as posters would not be as effective. Most have made Instagram accounts as a way to gain publicity and, hopefully, gain votes. 

“It is still fun with COVID-19 and it’s still exciting getting to run for position in the first place,” says Senior Kendyl Tyson, who is running for Senior Class President, “It’s definitely something that puts all of the students that run out of our comfort zone.”

The debates and speeches are one of the biggest differences between this year and a COVID-19 free year. Instead of everyone gathering in the auditorium, videos of each candidate’s speech will be pre-recorded and sent out for students to watch at home. “I love the debates,” says student body president Izzy Hageman, “it gives information right then and there and really shows people’s real intentions.”

Most years, an official voting box is brought in from Weld County and a booth is set up for students to cast their votes. With some students staying at home, and the need to avoid frequently touched surfaces, the voting will be completely online. This year, Election Day will be on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, and there will be a virtual ballot sent out to all the students to vote through. After that Gentert and Paul Stecina, the dean of students, will count up all the votes and determine the election results.

The thing that makes the student elections so important is that it teaches students how to pick a political candidate, as well as get them excited to vote in the United States’ elections. “Our goal is that students get excited about democracy and get excited about who represents their voice.” comments Gentert. Many students will be able to vote in the next U.S. election, making these smaller scale ones even more important.

Last year during the election, everything went as planned, the campaign teams worked together in person, and candidates gave their speeches in front of the student body. Unfortunately, schools got shut down before the actual vote, so the campaigning process went how it normally would, but the vote played out a little differently.

Election Day is one of the most exciting days of the year, but also one of the most important as the school is choosing who will represent them. No matter how the voting goes, and no matter who comes out on top, the election is a huge learning experience for all future leaders.