Teaching a lesson in democracy, Sulphur Springs School District officials held a mock election this week.
More than 1,200 ballots were cast between Sulphur Springs and Valley View elementary schools, according to Kim Porter, who is an assistant principal for both schools.
“We brought them a program where students can access the online materials and research their candidates, and after they learned about them, they were able to go online and vote,” Porter said.
While the two schools are within a couple of miles of each other, the results were quite different at each location, she said.
While President Barack Obama pulled in 79 percent of the vote at Valley View, his Republican challenger Mitt Romney polled dead even with the president at Sulphur Springs.
Porter said she hoped the students learned lessons about researching their votes and became more comfortable with the democratic process, so that when they turned 18, they would be ready to cast their ballots.
The idea was to simulate the environment as much as possible, so students voted in a partitioned computer lab, so they couldn’t see their neighbors’ screens.
“We had some kids who were nervous, and so hopefully, when they’re 18, it’ll be helpful for them,” she added.