U.S. Embassy Warsaw’s Deputy Press Attaché Stephen Dreikorn travelled to Lodz, Gorzow Wielkpolski, and Bydgoszcz this month where he gave presentations to high school students about how the United States elects its President. The American Corner in Lodz, and two america@your library host institutions, the Wojewodzka i Miejska Biblioteka Publiczna in Bydgoszcz and the Wojewodzka i Miejska Biblioteka Publiczna in Gorzow Wielkopolski, hosted the presentations. In total, more than 220 students participated in the discussions which focused on the primary election process (caucuses vs. primaries), the results from the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary, the upcoming primary election calendar, and the importance of democracy in American society.
During the presentations, the students answered questions about the differences in the way the United States and Poland elect presidents. The Students discussed the United States’ primary election process and debated its strengths and weaknesses. Drawing a contrast between the U.S. and Polish presidential election processes, the high school students asked questions about the history of the presidential primary and why Americans created such a complex process. Mr. Dreikorn explained that ultimately in the United States the people decide who will represent them as President (and other elected offices) and the drawn out process gives the public a chance to get know the candidates.
After each presentation, the students exercised their right to vote in a mock election as they cast their ballots in their city’s respective “Presidential Primary Election.” In the Democratic contest, the students in Lodz and Bydgoszcz voted for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while the students in Gorzow Wielkpolski voted for Senator Bernie Sanders. On the Republican side, Senator Marco Rubio won in Lodz and Businessman Donald Trump won in Bydgoszcz. Finally, proving that every vote matters and one vote can truly make a difference, Senator Ted Cruz and Donald Trump tied in Gorzow Wielkopolski.
The American Corner in Lodz and the libraries in Gorzow Wielkpolski and Bydgoszcz are part the U.S. Mission to Poland’s American Spaces network in Poland which includes six American Corners, nine america@your library partnerships, and eight Young Learners Resource Centers. For more information about American Spaces in Poland and to find the one nearest you, please check here.