Clinton wins mock election at AHS

Published 10:25 am Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton captured 37 percent of the Austin High School vote in its annual mock election last week, taking the top spot from Republican candidate Donald Trump, who came in with 30 percent.

Results released Monday showed all other presidential candidates — there are a total of nine — took in less than 15 percent of the vote.

Government teacher Rayce Hardy said last week about 1,100 students in ninth to 12th grade participated in the election.

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While this year marks the first of a statewide mock election for students, Austin High School has been conducting its own mock election for several years. Hardy said the students had correctly predicted outcomes in the last three presidential races.

According to the results of the student balloting, District 1 House of Representative incumbent Tim Walz took in 75 percent of the vote, and state Sen. Dan Sparks (75 percent) and District 27B Rep. Jeanne Poppe (57 percent) also won their races.

The students also elected City Council incumbent Michael Jordal (43.4 percent) and Mower County Board of Commissioners incumbent Tim Gabrielson (57 percent). Students only voted for candidates on the First District ballot, Hardy said.

Students also passed the Constitutional amendment that would allow an independent body to set the salaries for state lawmakers, taking that power away from the lawmakers themselves.This is the first year of statewide student mock election, called the Students Vote 2016 Initiative and overseen by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office.

As of Oct. 31, 213 high schools — less than half of the state’s 553 districts — had reported their outcomes, the most recently-released results. Over 77,000 students had voted. Trump (34.97 percent) according to results collected to that point was leading Clinton (32.89 percent).