Armstrong Students Vote in Mock Election

Armstrong's Social Studies Department Chair said that a mock election helps students see how easy voting is, and encourages them to vote when they're old enough.

The morning of Nov. 6 was busy for Golden Valley's eight polling locations. But Plymouth's Robbinsdale Armstrong High School was also bustling with activity.

Beginning at 7:30 the mock polls opened up in the high school's resource center and students streamed in to cast their vote.

In total, social studies staff hopes to see 90 percent of Armstrong's student population vote in the pretend election today. While students are not required to vote, all high schoolers spent part of their social studies class period voting.

"A mock election really fosters civic engagement at a young age," Social Studies Department Chair Erica Gullickson said. "It simulates the actual voting experience and shows the students that voting is easy and not cumbersome."

Leading up to the mock election, social studies teachers taught students about the marriage and voter ID amendments that would be on the ballot. On Nov. 7, when staff announces the final school election results, teachers will compare and contrast their students' votes to those of the nation.

Meagan Kluver, an Armstrong High School student, said that she was excited to vote in the mock election.

"I didn't know many people on the ballot, but I definitely had an opinion on the marriage amendment," Kluver said. "Some of my friends are gay, and I think if two people love each other, they should be able to get married."

Gullickson said she'll be interested to see the results of the school election, though she's not quite sure what to expect. "Considering the students' ages, I would say that most of them are probably liberal and may vote for Obama," Gullickson said. "But I don't know about the marriage and voter ID amendments."

In total, it took about 35 people to plan and conduct the election. Social studies staff got help from students involved in yearbook, including yearbook editor and aspiring journalist Jana Blasko.

"By voting in a mock election, we actually get some practice for the future," Blasko said. "It's been pretty cool watching everyone come in to vote."

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