As America goes to the polls on Tuesday, November 8, members of the Blair community will once again vote in a school-wide mock presidential election with results to be revealed at the Society of Skeptics. Veteran history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, noted that Blair’s mock election dates back many decades, and since his tenure began in 1980, the community has chosen the national winner every time. “As Blair goes, so goes the nation!” he quipped. All are invited to witness and discuss what may be an early predictor of national results; Skeptics begins at 7 p.m. in Bogle Hall’s Cowan Auditorium.
Dr. Miller observed that Blair’s vote may reflect the national vote since Blair students come from all over the country, indeed the world, and have a wide variety of backgrounds and political viewpoints. Students have had opportunities to thoroughly explore the issues surrounding the 2016 election during classes and the School’s multi-session Presidential Election Seminar this semester. “The mock election—and the real election for our 18-year-old students—is a culmination of a long period of discussion and debate,” Dr. Miller said. “It’s time to vote!”
Students, teachers and staff may cast their ballots at computer terminals in Clinton Hall throughout the academic day on November 8. History department chair Jason Beck crafted the Google voting form and will be in charge of tabulating votes and other information requested of voters, such as the issue they consider most important. History teachers will man the polls, and during Skeptics, they will lead discussion of the results and analyze voting projections of the actual U.S. elections in progress.
The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.
The program was an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon.’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please click here.