Mock Election Teaches High School Students Civic Responsibility - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Mock Election Teaches High School Students Civic Responsibility

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Schools across the state are making sure students get a chance to participate in Tuesday's election. 

Many schools are holding mock elections for students to get first-hand experience with the voting process, even if they're not old enough to vote. 

David Dohn's senior class at Harrisburg high school held a mock election today, voting on the same elections and issues on South Dakota's ballot. 

"This is the actual ballot that you would receive if you were actually voting today," said Dohn to his class.  

The student's votes may not affect Tuesday's election results, but the experience is helping them become better citizens today and in the future.  

"We tried to make it so they're more informed citizens and by them being able to exercise their right to vote, it basically shows them that the democratic process is working," said Dohn. 

Students researched each candidate and ballot issue, listening to debates and looking up candidates online. 

"It showed their views, it had a list of issues and I just went through and saw what I liked and what I didn't like," said senior Micah Ellefson. 

The mock election also gave students a chance to simply see what ballots look like.  

"It's exactly the same one that they would actually get in an election," said Dohn.  

"There's a lot of detail. What I had thought, it was just going to be like, here's the president, here's their names, but no it goes into detail," said senior Taylor Adrian. 

For 18-year-old Adrian, the mock election prepared her for casting her real vote after school.  

"I'm more relaxed, I just feel more comfortable doing it, like I know what I'm going to do now," said Adrian. 

For those too young to vote, the class helped spark their interest in this year's election. 

"It gets you interested in what you're learning like we watched presidential debates, and I'd go home and watch presidential debates by myself," said Ellefson. 

The results are in from the 60 students in Mr. Dohn's senior class mock election: 

Presidential:

Obama - 61%
Romney - 29%
Johnson (Libertarian) - 7% 

House:

Varilek - 61%
Noem - 39%

Measure 15:

Yes - 66%
No - 24% 

Referred Law 16:

Yes - 39%
No - 51% 

We'll see how close their results are to the actual numbers that come in on Tuesday.

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