Red wave rocks HES students’ mock vote
Hilliard Elementary School students correctly predicted a red wave in the General Election Nov. 6.
Fifty-one Florida counties out of 67 voted red, including Nassau, according to politico.com mapping.
Students participated in a mock election Oct. 24, casting computer ballots in the governor and senate races.
Collectively, 124 fourth, 109 fifth and 98 third grade students participated for a total of 331 votes, according to Nassau County Supervisor of Elections Project and Design Coordinator Kassy Jackson.
Students Michelle Higgins and Emily Pooser predicted that Republican Rick Scott would win the U.S. Senate race over Democrat Bill Nelson. Although Scott declared the win early, Nelson did not concede and requested a recount. A manual recount determined Scott to be the winner. Nelson conceded the race Nov. 18.
Higgins and Pooser agreed that Democrat Andrew Gillum would lose to the GOP’s Ron DeSantis for governor. The governor’s race was tight with DeSantis narrowly defeating Gillum with 49.7 percent of the vote. Gillum captured 49 percent, according to initial national poll results.
Gillum formally conceded to DeSantis Nov. 17, when his opponent was ahead by more than 33,600 votes following a machine recount, according to online reports.
The battle for agriculture commissioner was also contested.
Just after the election, Matt Caldwell was declared the winner. But by Nov. 15, Democrat Nikki Fried won by 6,753 votes in machine and manual recounts, according to online reports. Caldwell conceded Nov. 19.
According to HES’ poll results, Scott overtook Nelson with 198 votes. Nelson garnered 20 votes. Reform Party candidate Darcy Richardson captured 42 votes.
In the governor’s race, DeSantis received 175 votes while Andrew Gillum garnered 95 votes.
Corbin Poteet and Elijah Stewart checked off names and handed out tickets to students before they entered their votes.
Poteet discussed the importance of serving as a pollster.
“You’re helping out and volunteering for your community,” he said. “I just think that’s an important role.”
Jada Conner enjoyed the voting experience, saying, “If the person you voted for got it, and they do the right things, they get to be governor. I think it’s important so that we all have equal rights and we have a good governor.”
As of Monday, Nassau County registered voters totaled 67,227, according to www.votenassau.com.
That number included 38,682 Republicans and 14,551 Democrats. No party affiliation totaled 13,303 while 691 voters were listed as “Other.”