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Wells-Ogunquit schools participate in mock elections

posted Nov 1, 2016, 4:08 AM by Michael Richards
On October 25th, students in the Wells-Ogunquit CSD participated in the Maine Student Mock Election held in schools statewide by the Department of the Secretary of State in Augusta.  

Of the combined total votes cast in the three schools for president, Republican Donald Trump defeated former Secretary of State and Democrat Hillary Clinton by just 13 votes out of 648 votes cast.   In Maine’s 1st Congressional District race, Democrat Chellie Pingree defeated challenger Mark Holbrook by 53 votes from a total of 600 votes cast.  

Results in the WOCSD mock election show a preference for Clinton for president in the youngest grades with Trump winning at the junior high and high school levels.  Third and fourth graders favored Holbrook for Congress while the higher grades preferred Pingree.   

All three WOCSD schools provided an area for voting complete with a registration desk, voting booths and ballot boxes to give students the experience of the democratic process of voting thus allowing them to share their collective preferences before this year’s national and state elections on November 8th.  

Those facilitating the mock election in the WOCSD included Community Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley, and school volunteers Molly Talevi, Maureen DeFelice and Elaine Wells Elementary School; Student Council Advisers Lynn Mercier and Cindy Mitchell, members of the student council and various teachers at Wells Junior High School; and Ann Bechan, Student Council co-advisor Rachel Graceffa, teacher Becca Redman and numerous student council members at Wells High School. 

“We could not have done this without the support and help of those teachers,” commented Mercier regarding the election at WJHS which was held in the school library. “I think I can speak for both Cindy (Cindy Mitchell) and I in saying it was a fun day and a successful event.”

According to an October 26, 2016 press release from the Maine Secretary of State’s office, students from 155 Maine schools elected Donald Trump president, and returned Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin to Congress in the 2016 Maine Student Mock Election. 
Student awaiting to vote                                                            
Students vote in real voting booths on loan from the town of Wells in a mock election at Wells Elementary School on October 25, 2016.  At far right is school volunteer Elaine Talevi.

Students placing their ballot
As WJHS student Vivianne Brousseau (at right) monitors the ballot box, student Alan Woodman deposits his ballot.   In the background to the left are three voting booths with a registration area in the far background

A chart displaying how students in the three Wells-Ogunquit CSD schools voted in the 2016 Maine Student Mock Election:

-The Presidential race: 
                            Wells Elementary School - Wells Junior High School - Wells High School
    Clinton/Kane         79                                127                                      35
    Trump/Pence         55                                141                                      58
    Johnson/Weld         25                                  25                                      19
    Stein/Baraka            7                                  17                                        3
    Other                       16                                  31                                      10

-Maine’s 1st District Congressional race:

    Mark Holbrook       90                              120                                        50
    Chellie Pingree       67                              180                                        66
    Other                               9                                 16                                          2

Unlike students at WES and WJHS, students at Wells High School voted on the 2016 Maine ballot questions.  The results are:

  Question 1     (marijuana)                         YES:  70                  NO:  59             
  Question  2    (tax for K-12)                         YES:   69                 NO:  56             
  Question  3    (background checks for firearms)    YES:  77                  NO:  47   
  Question  4    (raising the minimum wage)           YES   72                 NO:  53             
  Question  5      (ranked choice voting)        YES    84                 NO:   39
  Question  6      (transportation)          YES     59                NO:   63