Students at Mount Erie Elementary School in Anacortes point to their “I Voted” stickers after voting in the Presidential Primary Mock Election. (Photos courtesy of Mount Erie)
We won’t know until next week which candidates Washington’s adult voters like in the state’s Presidential Primary. But judging by results from this week’s Presidential Primary Mock Election, the state’s K-12 students clearly are “feeling the Bern.”
Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders gathered 70.6 percent of the students’ votes to easily defeat fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, who took in 29.4 percent. In fact, Sanders received nearly half (3,270) of the total number of votes in the mock election.
Donald Trump easily won on the Republican side, receiving 57 percent of the votes. Ted Cruz took second with 21.7 percent, followed by Ben Carson (10.8 percent) and John Kasich (10.5 percent).
Results can be viewed here, including a breakdown by city, school and county.
Two students at Mount Erie Elementary School celebrate after voting in the mock election.
Nearly 6,900 K-12 students in Washington voted in the mock election, which began Monday morning and ended Friday at 1 p.m. The Mock Election allowed students to experience “voting” for presidential candidates. Sponsored by the Office of Secretary of State, the Mock Election is a nonpartisan educational program that teaches kids to be informed voters.
Jackie Wheeler, who organized the mock election for the state Elections Division, said it has energized students and increased their interest in the presidential election.
“The Presidential Primary Mock Election is great because it allows students to follow the presidential election process from start to finish, from the nominating process to the General Election,” says Wheeler, a voter education & outreach specialist. “I hope this will excite students to participate in the Mock Election this fall to see if the candidate they voted for this week will be on the ballot in November.”
Like the regular Student Mock Election held each fall before the statewide General Election, the Presidential Primary Mock Election was free and open to all Washington K-12 students who attend public, private or tribal school or are homeschooled.