Ellis school vote favors Obama

Published 2:22 am Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Eighth-grader Tyler Wendroth votes during the Ellis Middle School mock election Tuesday. — Trey Mewes/trey.mewes@austindailyherald.com

When it comes to predicting the 2012 elections, Ellis Middle School students almost aced the test.

About 705 students voted Tuesday in the annual mock election at Ellis, with Barack Obama defeating Mitt Romney 532 to 172 votes. Students also re-elected Amy Klobuchar, Tim Walz, Jeanne Poppe, Dan Sparks and Tom Stiehm to each candidate’s respective office.

The election is part of a unit on government for eighth-graders, according to Derik Gustafson, eight-grade teacher, and this year marks a new first for students: They’re running the election pretty much on their own.

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“This is the first time students are handling the election process,” Gustafson said.

That means students act as election judges and officials, doing almost every election-related job. In addition, students voted using the Infinite Campus web tool, which students already use for teacher classes, homework and other aspects of school.