Students choose Barack Obama, Jay Inslee in mock election
November 13, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 8 a.m. Nov. 13, 2012
Students statewide and in the Issaquah School District chose the same candidates as grown-up voters — Barack Obama for president and Jay Inslee for governor.
The exercise included 38,848 students statewide, including classes at Cascade Ridge Elementary, Endeavour Elementary, Sunset Elementary, Pine Lake Middle and Issaquah High schools in the Issaquah School District. The number of students participating statewide shattered the record for participation — about 18,000 students — set in 2008.
Students cast ballots online from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2, and then Secretary of State Sam Reed’s office posted the results online. The results in the statewide Student Mock Election reflected the outcome in the real election, albeit with different margins.
Statewide, 69 percent of students selected Obama and Vice President Joe Biden over Republican challenger Mitt Romney and GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. (The margin on the real vote for president in Washington: 56 percent for Obama, 42 percent for Romney.)
In the close race for governor, students picked Inslee by a wide margin over Republican Rob McKenna, 57 percent to 43 percent. (In reality, Inslee edged out McKenna, 51 percent to 49 percent.)
Students narrowly favored charter school Initiative 1240, 51 percent to 49 percent — the same margin as in the actual election. The marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 502, failed, 51 percent to 49 percent. (The actual measure passed overwhelmingly on Election Day.)
Students overwhelmingly approved same-sex marriage Referendum 74, 67 percent to 33 percent.
Students in grades six to 12 votes with a longer ballot featuring the races for president, governor, initiatives 502 and 1240, and Referendum 74. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade voted on president, governor and I-1240.
“I’m really impressed with the huge increase in the number of students voting in this year’s mock election!” Reed said in a statement. “A big thank you to the teachers and students in our state for their participation in this year’s mock election. It’s important to promote civic engagement and informed future voters in our state, and the mock election is a great way to do that.”