Students at Mountlake Terrace High School were given an opportunity to cast their votes in a mock election Tuesday with the ballot consisting of votes for U.S. President (Obama vs. Romney), the U.S. Senate seat from the state of Washington (Cantwell vs. Baumgartner), Washington state Governor (Inslee vs. McKenna), and two state initiatives (charter schools, legalization of marijuana) and a referendum, same-sex marriage).
The mock election was conducted by students primarily from the 10th Grade Humanities class of MTHS teacher Chris Ellinger. More than 500 students cast votes throughout the day at booths supplied by the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office.
Results from the election showed a big student preference for the three Democratic candidates on the ballot. In the presidential race, Barack Obama topped Mitt Romney 388 to 119; in Washington state’s U.S. Senate race, Maria Cantwell bested Michael Baumgartner 350 to 143; and in the state’s gubernatorial race Jay Inslee beat Rob McKenna 312 to 180.
MTHS students strongly favored Referendum R-74, the affirmation of the new state same-sex marriage law, by a vote of 382 to 119. The two state initiatives on the ballot were much closer in their results, with I-502, the legalization of marijuana passing 262 to 230, and I-1240, the allowance for charter schools in the state, going down in defeat 264-234.
Ellinger gave students the responsibility of conducting the election and tabulating the results, and was pleased their involvement with the project. “This, in my opinion, is the best form of learning we have,” he said. “Kids were engaged in this election and experienced the process of how democracy works, including the warts it carries and the apathy of its participants.”
“I wish we could do this more often,” Ellinger added.