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Students across the SCV, state hold mock election

Posted: November 4, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 4, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Students use computers to cast their votes in the mock presidential election. Schools across the Santa Clarita Valley and the state participated.

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Although nearly all of them are too young to vote in Tuesday’s election, local elementary, middle and high school students in the Santa Clarita Valley have already gotten feel for the voting process.

More than 250,000 California students at 674 schools cast their ballots in statewide mock elections as part of a program called MyVote California Student Mock Election, according to statistics from the Secretary of State’s Office.

The MyVote program, spearheaded by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, aims to teach the democratic process to students by providing a hands-on civics lesson, according to Bowen.

Democratic President Barack Obama won the mock election handily, bringing in almost 70 percent of the popular vote.

The story was much the same with incumbent Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who outpaced Republican challenger Elizabeth Emken with 65 percent of the vote.

Several schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District participated in MyVote. Bowman High School, Hart High School, Academy of the Canyons Middle College High School, West Ranch High School, La Mesa Junior High School and Valencia High School were among local schools that cast votes in the mock election.

Additionally, three schools in the Saugus Union School District also participated: Plum Canyon Elementary, Rosedell Elementary and Santa Clarita Elementary.

While the majority of students at Hart High School and Academy of the Canyons also voted for Obama over Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the margin was smaller than it was statewide. Obama led 53-32 at Academy of the Canyons and 57-34 at Hart High School.

Students also voted on 11 of the more well-known propositions on the ballot, and some of the results turned out more competitive than the presidential or Senate races.

For instance, students narrowly opposed Proposition 34, which, if approved, would eliminate the state’s death penalty. That proposition went down in defeat by around 600 votes out of more than 205,000 ballots cast statewide.

But mock elections in local schools are not restricted to the MyVote campaign. Sierra Vista Junior High, Arroyo Seco Junior High, Canyon High School and Saugus High School will all hold mock elections of their own on Election Day, according to Hart district spokeswoman Gail Pinsker.

Golden Valley High School will hold a mock election of its own on Monday.

At least three other schools — Placerita Junior High, Valley View Community School and Sulphur Springs Community School — have already held mock elections.

Sulphur Springs students had the presidential race exactly tied, according to Kim Porter, the school’s assistant principal.



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