District 155 Students Pick Obama for President in Mock Elections

However, students at Prairie Ridge and Crystal Lake Central high schools backed Republican candidate Mitt Romney.


 CG   CLC   CLS   PR   D155 Obama   47.99%   45.69%
  46.38%   40.58%   44.69% Romney   37.00   54.31   36.91   48.48   43.01 Johnson   7.24   -   6.69   4.10   5.06 Stein   7.77   -   10.03   4.41   6.45 Write-in   -   -   -   2.43   .79


Students in Bill Altmann's three Current Issues classes at Crystal Lake South High School had recently participated in an an extensive election studies unit.

So when Altmann on Monday handed out an assignment asking students to predict the winner of the 2012 Presidential election, they passed the test.

"About 75 percent of the seniors in these three classes picked Obama to win," Altmann said.

Altmann and fellow social science teacher Anne Santucci, working with South's student council and National Honor Society, also held a mock election Tuesday open to the entire student body.

With voting booths set up in the school cafeteria, students were free to stop by and voice a choice. By day's end, South High reported an impressive 36-percent voter turnout rate, Altmann said.

By a considerable margin, South students picked Obama for president of the United States. Of the ballots cast, 46.4 percent supported Obama and 36.9 backed Republican candidate Mitt Romney, according to results submitted to the district.

Many schools - from elementary on up - hold mock elections as way to get kids involved and thinking about government, the election process and modern-day politics.

"The students who worked as mock election judges really enjoyed the process, and the (voting) students enjoyed it as well," Altmann said. "I'm hopeful that at least it made them more intested in the election."


Cary-Grove High School students, who participated in a mock on-line election using a Google Apps for Education ballot, also backed the incumbent president, with 47.9 percent of the vote going to Obama and 37 percent to Romney, according to District 155 Communications Director Jeff Puma.

Interestingly, the other two schools in Community High School District 155 leaned more to the right, Puma said.

Crystal Lake Central

At Romney carried 54.3 percent of the votes and Obama only garnered 45.7 (Central didn't have the Green and Libertarian party candidates on the ballot).

Jonathan Byham’s Current Issues classes coordinated Central's mock election, for which all students participated. The student coordinators also encouraged early voting just like the actual election. The entire voting process was held online through www.voting4schools.com, Puma said.

For campaigning, Byham's second-period class served as the Romney campaign, and the fifth-period class posed as Obama campaigners. Both campaigns hung posters and discussed the candidates’ positions with classmates.

Prairie Ridge

On the north side of Crystal Lake, Prairie Ridge high schoolers also backed Romney, giving him 48.5 percent of the votes. Obama received a 40.6-percent share of the votes. 

PR teachers Joe Terhaar and Bill Walker ran "presidential" debates and mock elections, respectively.The debates, held last week, had students from Terhaar's Modern World History classes playing the roles of Gov. Romney and President Obama, Puma said.

The mock elections were run by Walker’s Climb Current Issues class.

District-Wide Election Results

District-wide the margin between the two candidates was much closer, with Obama getting 44.7 and Romney taking 43.01 percent of the votes, Puma said.

"For fun, we also assigned Electoral College votes based on the percentage of District 155 students served at each school," Puma said. "President Obama won re-election by the Electoral College vote as well, garnering 290 of the 538 possible votes."




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