Washington State mock Election

2014-Mock-Election---Cascade-HS-studentsThree students from Cascade High School in Leavenworth show off their “I Voted” stickers after taking part in the Mock Election. (Photo courtesy of Cascade High School)

While Washington awaits the decision of its adult voters in this fall’s General Election, more than 18, 000 K-12 students statewide already have indicated via this week’s Student Mock Election what they think of the three initiatives on the statewide ballot.

Students approved Initiative 1351 (reducing class sizes), as 51.3 percent gave a thumbs-up. Students provided a split decision on the two initiatives on gun background checks. Nearly 55 percent rejected I-591, which would prohibit government agencies from requiring background checks on firearms recipients unless a uniform national standard is required. But more than 68 percent approved I-594, which calls for a universal background check on gun purchases.

Students also voted on their congressional race. Among the 10 congressional contests in Washington, the 4th District battle between Republicans Dan Newhouse and Clint Didier was the closest, as 50.3 percent (991) students there voted for Newhouse, while 49.7 percent (979) chose Didier.

This year’s Mock Election attracted 18, 211 voters (including 2, 884 in grades K-5 and 15, 327 in grades 6-12), the second-highest turnout in Mock history, behind only the 38, 900 mark set in 2012. The school with the most students taking part this year was Albert Einstein Middle School in Shoreline, with 697. Komachin Middle School in Lacey was second, with 570 students.

“It’s great that so many students voted in the Mock Election this year and experienced what voting is like, ” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman. “The Mock Election is an excellent way to introduce students to voting and why it’s important.”

The Mock Election, held online, began Monday morning and ended early Friday afternoon. The annual civics program for Washington students has been conducted by the Office of Secretary of State since 2004.

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