Election sparks interest
November 7, 2016
When sophomore Anika Hanson finished voting in the mock election, she noticed it sparked conversation among students.
“I heard a lot more students talk about the Presidential candidates and the Constitutional amendment,” Hanson said. “I think it had positive effects because now people are learning about other candidates and what they stand for.”
According to social studies teacher and mock election coordinator, Carly Kregness, Park participated in the first ever state-run high school mock election, Students Vote 2016, where students voted for candidates who will appear on the ballot Nov. 8.
“The students in the school voted for who they would choose and we did it for President, Congress for the 5th district, the two state offices for the State Senator for District 46 and the state representative for District 46,” Kregness said. “There is also a Constitutional amendment for the state of Minnesota on the ballot this year and so students voted on that, too.”
Hanson said the mock election helped students feel their views were heard.
“I feel like kids are going to think that their opinions matter more because (the school is) asking for what kids think,” Hanson said.
Kregness said the Presidential election resulted in Clinton winning 65.5 percent of student votes, followed by Trump with 11.5 percent. The third party candidates each won less than 5 percent of the vote.
“People guessed that Clinton would win because this is a DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) heavy district, because the Democrat most often wins in St. Louis Park in general,” Kregness said. “That was the most likely scenario.”
Hanson said the results of the mock election interested her because the presidential race has sparked a lot of controversy.
“I feel like it is more of a controversial election this year and (the State) wanted to get students’ opinions,” Hanson said. “I liked how they were getting the school’s opinions and I think it will be cool to see all the different schools’ (opinions) in the state.”
Kregness said she noticed many students arrived unprepared to vote in many of the down-ballot races, and hoped this election raised students’ awareness of smaller elections happening around them.
“A lot of people walked into our mock election and knew who they wanted for President but did not know anything about the Constitutional amendment or maybe one of that State representative elections,” Kregness said. “I think that that’s really important for people to be prepared to vote for other races and try to be informed.”