Stuyvesant High School in New York City is one of the most prestigious public schools in the country. Only 3% of the 25,000 students who apply there are accepted. Before the screening of Frontrunners, director Caroline Suh told the crowd that one reason she chose Stuyvesant for filming a documentary about a high school election is because the students there are likely, in their adult years, to be the future leaders of our country. Competition is tough at Stuyvesant, and because the student body is made up of kids from all five boroughs of New York City, its composed of a melting pot of ethnic and economic diversity that, in its way, reflects the diversity of the country. Well, kind of -- if the country had a 50% Asian population and was entirely composed of the top 3%.
What is reflective of our country is the school's voter apathy. Of the 3,200 students attending Stuyvesant, most of them don't vote in the student union elections, or even know or care who's running. Like many adults living in the United States who don't exercise their right to vote, most of the students at Stuyvesant simply don't see the elections as relevant to their lives. Frontrunners follows the four tickets running for the offices of Student Union president and vice-president in the school's most recent elections, and the candidates' battle to garner the most votes from those students who do care enough to participate in the process.