A sneak peek to Tuesday; AHS students take part in mock election
Published 11:17 am Friday, November 4, 2016
It’s true that few of the 1,100 Austin High School students casting ballots in a mock election Thursday can actually vote in Tuesday’s General Election.
You have to be 18 to do that — but that doesn’t mean anyone should take the results lightly.
According to government teacher Rayce Hardy, the ninth-12th grade students have correctly predicted the winners of the last three presidential elections.
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Students also chose the winners in the U.S. House District 1, District 27B and the local state Senate race.
“They might be voting the way their parents vote, but we’re making the claim that they are the perfect example of the voters in the city, county and state at large,” Hardy said.
This year’s results won’t be known until Monday, he added.
Katelyn Greibrok, 17, said the exercise in democracy was a good one, no matter what the result, although she said she did not know some of the candidates.
Katie Woller, 17, agreed, adding “it gives younger people who aren’t 18 a chance to see what the process is about.”
McKenna Hotek is 18 and glad for it. She is excited about casting her first vote.
“It was nice to be able to practice here, to see what the ballot looked like,” she said.
Hardy said the social studies department had three goals for the mock election: Familiarize students with the ballot that has not only presidential candidates but the state, county and local candidates as well.
“And we wanted to show them how easy it was to vote in Minnesota. If you show up and you’re not registered, you can do it right there,” he said.
He added the department also wanted to emphasize that voting is a civic duty, that decisions made in the voting booth “really do impact your life.”
While students showed enthusiasm for the process, more than one said they were tired of the drama this presidential election has wrought.
“This (mock election) was interesting, but we are so ready for it to be over,” said Mattie Hackensmith, 17.