High School Students Choose Helen Gym, New Slate of City Council Members in PA Youth Vote Mock Election
Committee of Seventy Logo
English Arabic Chinese (Simplified) French Spanish Vietnamese

High School Students Choose Helen Gym, New Slate of City Council Members in PA Youth Vote Mock Election


PHILADELPHIA – MAY 12, 2023 – Before Pennsylvania’s primary voters head to the polls on Tuesday, Pennsylvania’s high school students gave a preview of possible results as part of this month’s PA Youth Vote Mock Election. 

In the closely watched Philadelphia mayoral race, Helen Gym scored a significant victory in the Democratic primary, earning 60% of the vote. Rebecca Rhynhart finished second (17%) and Cherelle Parker was third (12%).

Students also selected new at-large members to the Philadelphia City Council, as Erika Almirón (29%), Nina Ahmad (27%), Isaiah Thomas (26%), Katherine Gilmore Richardson (25%), and Amanda MciIllmurray (23%) were the top-five vote getters.

The race to fill the Philadelphia City Controller’s office, Christy Brady nudged Alexandra Hunt, 42%-40%. Incumbents Tracey Gordon and Rochelle Bilal received the most votes for Register of Wills and Sheriff, respectively. Uncontested seats for City Commissioner and the Republican nomination for mayor were also on the ballot, and the students voted on each of the four city ballot questions.

Statewide, Pennsylvania’s youth chose judicial candidates as well, highlighted by Democrat Daniel McCaffrey and Republican Patricia McCullough earning their parties’ nominations for Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

In total, 232 students cast their ballots, in grades 9-12 from five schools in Philadelphia, Lehigh, and Fayette counties. This program allowed students to choose among real candidates for statewide and local offices and answer ballot questions that were customized to their interests. Schools were also invited to use a comprehensive elections and voting curriculum as part of the Mock Election.

The program was organized by the Committee of Seventy and PA Youth Vote, two nonpartisan nonprofit groups dedicated to improving government and civic engagement. Full results can be viewed here

“The mock election is a great opportunity for Pennsylvania’s future voters to practice casting their vote in preparation for when they turn 18,” said Lauren Cristella, Interim President and COO of the Committee of Seventy. “With Philadelphia electing its 100th mayor this year and so many other important local and judicial races on the ballot that will impact their future, it’s vital that we encourage students to get involved in local politics.”

The PA Youth Vote Mock Election provided hands-on practice to help Pennsylvania students become active voters by offering information about how elections work and tools for researching the candidates. Ballots were provided and collected by teachers, who reported the raw voting data to the Committee of Seventy. 

“This mock election offered students a fun way to prepare for the day when their votes count, and we hope it will motivate our students to register to vote when they turn 18,” said Thomas Quinn, Director of Education for PA Youth Vote. “We want every student and teacher who participated to stay engaged, stay informed, and join us in helping get more of Pennsylvania’s young people registered.”

Schools and teachers can share the results from their schools with their communities. For more information, visit https://seventy.org/mockelection.

About the Committee of Seventy

The Committee of Seventy is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that has promoted, supported and facilitated government ethics and election integrity for more than a century. We believe that elections should be more free, more fair, more safe and more secure. We want every eligible voter to vote, to be informed when they vote, and to vote with confidence. 

For more information, find us at: https://seventy.org/

About PA Youth Vote

PA Youth Vote is a nonpartisan collaboration of students, educators, and organizations working to elevate student voices and empower Pennsylvania youth as civic actors: registered, informed, and ready to vote in all elections. We are focused on building a nonpartisan coalition of organizations, youth, and educators across Pennsylvania dedicated to getting all 18-year-olds in the Keystone State to the polls on Election Day. Through youth programming, peer-to-peer voter registration, teacher and organizational partnerships, and advocacy across the state, we work to ensure youth are prepared to vote and become civic leaders.