Lake Bluff Middle School students recently learned some important lessons about the importance of civic engagement – and accurately predicted the 2012 Presidential Election results to boot. The students took part in the school’s Mock Election, which has been taking place since Richard Nixon ran against George McGovern in 1972.
The whole school got involved with the preparations for the election, with 6th grade social studies students handling voter registration (each student had to register to be allowed to vote). The 7th grade students ran the election – including handing out ballots, verifying signatures and supervising the polling place. Lastly, the 8th grade students conducted a mock debate, where they divided into two teams representing Obama and Romney, researched key issues and answered questions in a debate format at an all-school assembly.
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On Nov. 6, Election Day, students voted in the library during their lunch period. After the polls closed, the student council met with Principal Nathan Blackmer to tabulate the results. The final result was Obama winning with 112 votes and Romney close behind with 101 votes.
The Lake Bluff Middle School students have a long history of accurately predicting the results of the real election.
“It is true that our students have predicted nearly every election since we began doing the mock election,” Blackmer said. “I haven’t confirmed, but there is a rumor that we may not have successfully predicted the 1980 election in which Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter. Otherwise, our student mock elections have been consistent with the real election every time.”
All in all, the tradition was again a huge success with both students and faculty.
“This is a great learning opportunity for our students,” Blackmer said. “Our teachers do an outstanding job facilitating the whole experience. We look forward to doing it again in four years.”