Mock Elections Offer Lessons for BISD Students

Mock Elections Offer Lessons for BISD Students
Posted on 11/09/2016

Mock Elections Offer Lessons for BISD Students

Students at all grade levels participated in mock elections leading up to Tuesday's general election.

Results of mock elections held in government classes at Boerne ISD high schools trended along the lines of Kendall County results and produced the same result as the national electorate, according to a review of the returns.

In the week leading up to Tuesday's general election, students at Boerne High School and Boerne-Champion High School took trips to local polling sites to watch democracy in action. Upon returning to the classroom, they took part in mock elections patterned after the national presidential contest.

At Boerne High School, 66 percent of students voting cast their ballots for Donald Trump. Just over 16 percent voted for Hillary Clinton while third party candidates received almost 8 percent of the vote. Unnamed other candidates received 10 percent of the vote.

"I look at this election as an exciting way to show students that voter turnout is exceptionally important and being informed before you vote is necessary," said BHS government teacher Elizabeth Wolff. "Students have discussed this election more than I can remember in previous years. It has been a great opportunity to discuss what can be difficult concepts, such as the Electoral College and primary elections versus general elections.

"I hope this serves them well in becoming informed and civically responsible citizens."

At Champion High School, Mr. Trump received 65 percent of the student vote while Mrs. Clinton earned 21 percent. The remaining 14 percent was split between third party candidates and others. Government teacher Kim Grosenbacher emphasized that the mock election offered numerous teachable moments.

"My goal as an educator is to foster good citizenship and instill civic participation within my students," Grosenbacher said. "I emphasis the importance of voting.

"The mock election was an opportunity for all students to participate. True to our national election, the students were able to choose and several chose not to participate. Overall, the students were excited to participate and anxious to see the results. They wanted to see how closely they aligned to the Kendall County voter turnout."

Unofficial results for Kendall County show that 77 percent of voters supported Mr. Trump while 18 percent voted for Mrs. Clinton.

Grosenbacher said comments from her students following Tuesday's election echoed themes heard at the national level: "Don't believe the polls." "Every vote counts! Stick to your opinions, and don't let media sway you."

Middle School North students cast their votes 64 percent for Mr. Trump, 19 percent for Mrs. Clinton. At Middle School South, 71 percent of student voters favored Mr. Trump, 18 percent voted for Mrs. Clinton.

Mock elections also were conducted at all five BISD elementary schools, where young voters gave 59 percent of their support to Mr. Trump, 28 percent to Mrs. Clinton.

"The students were excited to be voting and kept asking who was winning," said Boerne High School government teacher Bret Bunker. "They seemed to enjoy being part of the process, even if it was only a mock election. I hope they learned that it is important to do a little research before coming into the ballot box. I also wanted to get the students involved in the process so that they hopefully will become educated voters in the future."

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