Students from kindergarten through high school cast their ballots Nov. 2 in what is believed to be Missouri’s largest mock election. Through R-7 Votes, close to 18,000 Lee’s Summit R-7 students voted six days in advance of the national election.
In the presidential race, students selected Hillary Clinton as the winner with 42.3 percent of votes. Second place went to Donald Trump, 40.2 percent. In addition, Gary Johnson received 9.3 percent, Jill Stein received 5.6 percent and Darrell Castle received 2.6 percent.
Winner in the mock-election governor’s race was Chris Koster with 41.9 percent. Second place went to Eric Greitens with 38.2 percent. Cisse Spragins received 9.9 percent, Lester Turilli Jr. received 5.1 percent and Don Fitz received 4.9 percent.
R-7 Votes takes place every four years during presidential elections. Students learn about the election process and the importance of voting while participating in the district-wide mock election. The successful program has taken place since November 2008 with R-7 staff members developing the program specifically for local schools. Students’ lessons through R-7 Votes are tailored to fit their grade level. R-7 Votes is a non-partisan effort and does not endorse any candidate or issue.
Students in kindergarten through third grade voted for president, and students in fourth through sixth grade voted for president and governor. Students seventh grade and older cast votes on all items on the official ballot including national, state, county and local issues.
A focus of the program is to help students learn about the importance of good citizenship and being a well-informed voter. Depending on students’ grade levels, R-7 Votes covers topics such as voter registration, primaries, precincts and voting jurisdictions, political parties and the Electoral College. By participating in the mock elections, students are encouraged to develop lifelong voting habits.
In addition to being an unusually large mock election, R-7 Votes is unique among mock elections because the older students vote on a number of local issues as well as national and state issues.