Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mock Election Results

The mock election at the district charter middle school, which was held Monday, favored Obama over former Gov. Mitt Romney 211-176, or 54 percent to 46 percent.

Teaching middle school students about the nation’s Electoral College system was one key goal of the mock election. President Obama presided there by even larger margins, with 68 electoral votes to Romney’s 30.

The mock election makes no claim to be a statistical poll of wider voting patterns however, after vewing the results the mock election could be compared with the nation's results.
 Cornerstone Academy was one of many district schools that held mock elections on Monday or Tuesday. At Westwood Elementary, for example, students lined up to vote on Tuesday and show that they understood the importance of voting. As at many schools, their votes were recorded electronically.

 At Cornerstone, eighth-grade history teacher Catherine Wood-Sponsel designed and planned the student exercise to help young people understand how to vote, what the candidates believe, and how votes in the Electoral College system are apportioned to Presidential candidates.

On Monday, about 360 students took turns gathering in small groups on the second floor of the Westview campus, where they stood in line to register to vote, obtain voter tickets, and then casting their ballots via iPad in a nearby room with elaborate cardboard voting booths. Earlier, the students had been organized into “states” that had funny names ranging from Flexas to Nachochusetts.

The school Electoral College votes were assigned by formula. The number of electoral votes per state was based on the student and teacher population of a “state,” (five students plus two teacher votes equaled on electoral vote).

According to Mrs. Wood, this formula mirrors the U.S. system of adding the number of Congressional districts plus a state’s two U.S. senators to determine each state’s number of electors.

Final results were announced by intercom late Monday afternoon at the middle school. As expected, the results led to cheers by some, sighs by others.

Overall, the voting exercise was a social studies teacher’s dream goal – every student involved seemed to care deeply about voicing their opinion.

Cornerstone students gave the mock election high marks.

“After participating in the mock election,” said eighth-grader Diana Dial, “I think that I will be more enthusiastic about voting when I am of age to vote. Voting today at school made me feel good because I participated in something and my voice mattered.”

“We watched a video in our advisory classes that played out the scenario of each candidate winning and what the result would be. The video really helped in understanding how each candidate would influence our nation.”

Seventh-grader Zach Griffin said, “I was interested in politics before we started our school mock election. However, my teachers made me realize that my voice matters, and I should speak out for what I believe in.”

History teacher Wood-Sponsel believes that the mock election will make voting for the first time far easier for more than 300 students. That was one of her goals before the mock election was held.

Communications Dept. intern Kali Venable conducted interviews for this report.


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