2016 Mock Election nearly breaks turnout record

2016 Mock Election nearly breaks turnout record


6th graders at Frontier Middle School in Pierce County who voted in Mock Election. (Photo courtesy Bethel School District)

Washington’s adult voters apparently aren’t the only ones energized by the white-hot General Election. Judging by last week’s Mock Election, K-12 students are just as engaged.

A near-record 38,528 students voted in the 2016 Mock Election, just 320 off the all-time record set in 2012.

“We are very pleased that so many students took part in the Mock Election last week,” said Jackie Wheeler of the Elections Division’s voter education and outreach team. “It shows there is incredible interest in this fall’s election. We’re glad so many students had a chance to experience what voting is like, and we hope they’ll register when they are old enough and then consistently vote in our elections.”

Of the total votes cast, 33,104 were by students in grades 6-12, while 5,424 were by K-5 students.

Nearly 50 percent of students voted for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president, while nearly 30 percent selected Republican nominee Donald Trump. Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson received 8.2 percent, while the Green Party’s Jill Stein garnered 5.6 percent.

In the U.S. Senate race, about 63 percent of students picked Democratic incumbent Patty Murray over Republican challenger Chris Vance (37.1 percent.)

For governor, Democratic incumbent Jay Inslee took in about 57.3 percent of the votes, besting Republican challenger Bill Bryant (42.7 percent).

Students “approved” three initiatives. More than 64 percent voted for I-1433 (minimum wage). I-1491 (restricting access to firearms) was approved by more than 68 percent, and nearly 53 percent passed I-735 (petition to overturn Citizens United ruling of Supreme Court).

King County students also voted on Charter Amendment No. 2 (gender-neutral language), with nearly 60 percent approving. About 89 percent of Seattle students gave a thumbs-up to City of Seattle Initiative Measure No. 124 (health, safety and labor standards for Seattle hotel employees).

All of the Mock Election results, including by city, school and county, can be viewed here.

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