When the polls closed Wednesday afternoon for Flathead High School’s midterm mock election, Republican candidates came out on top across the board.
The 582 students casting their ballots also supported the two initiatives in this year’s general election — one on raising tobacco taxes to fund health-care programs and the other requiring new hard-rock mines to have a reclamation plan. Students likewise supported a referendum retaining the 6-mill levy that financially supports the Montana University System.
While a mock election traditionally has been held for presidential elections, organizer and social studies teacher Roy Antley believes this is the first one Flathead High has held for midterms.
“Our main purpose in doing this is to promote youth voting and increase voter turnout,” Antley said.
The national spotlight on Montana’s Senate race this year also factored into the decision to hold a midterm mock election, with President Donald Trump visiting the state three times, campaigning on behalf of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale, who is seeking to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.
“Certainly, it is a weighty Senate race that has drawn a lot of money on both sides,” Antley said.
The authenticity of the voting process didn’t stop at the ballot language, but extended to the requirement of showing a photo ID — and waiting in line.
Social studies teachers took turns checking IDs. A few students who forgot or didn’t bring their IDs, were turned away — not to deter students from voting, but to get them accustomed to the eligibility requirements, so when they show up at the real polls they will be prepared.
Prior to the exercise in civic responsibility, students learned about the election process, voting procedures, ballot initiatives and details such as what a contested and non-contested race means.
“We emphasize that government affects their lives in ways they can’t even imagine yet. If they’re going to have a say in what the government does, then they need to participate in one of the most basic processes of our democracy, which is becoming an active and informed voter,” Antley said.
Participation in the mock election was voluntary and open to freshman through seniors.
Glacier High School is planning to also hold a mock election next week.
Flathead High School voting
2018 Flathead Mock Election Results
Matt Rosendale (Rep), 52.4 percent
Jon Tester (Dem), 37.4 percent
Rick Breckenridge (Lib), 10.2 percent
Greg Gianforte (Rep), 63.8 percent
Kathleen Williams (Dem), 29.5 percent
Elinor Swanson (Lib), 6.8 percent
Public Service Commissioner
Brad Johnson (Rep), 68.4 percent
Andy Shirtliff (Dem), 31.6 percent
Clerk of the Montana Supreme Court
Bowen Greenwood (Rep), 55.7 percent
Rex Renk (Dem), 28.6 percent
Roger Roots (Lib), 15.7 percent
Montana Supreme Court No. 4: Retain Beth Baker for another term?
For: 74.5 percent
Against: 25.5 percent
Montana Supreme Court No. 2: Retain Ingrid Gustafson for another term?
For: 67.8 percent
Against: 32.2 percent
District Court Judge, District 11, Department 1: Retain Amy Eddy for another term?
For: 68.9 percent
Against: 31.1 percent
District Court Judge, District 11, Department 2: Retain Robert Allison for another term?
For: 67.2 percent
Against: 32.8 percent
District Court Judge, District 11, Department 3: Retain Heidi J. Ulbricht for another term?
For: 67.7 percent
Against: 32.3 percent
Justice of the Peace, Department 1: Retain Eric Hummel for another term?
For: 74.1 percent
Against: 25.9 percent
Justice of the Peace, Department 2
Paul Sullivan: 55.5 percent
William Managhan: 44.5 percent
County Commissioner, District 3
Randy Brodehl (Rep): 60.0 percent
Tom Clark (Dem): 40.0 percent
County Clerk and Recorder/Surveyor/Auditor
Debbie Pierson (Rep):100 percent
Brian Heino (Rep): 100 percent
Travis Ahner (Rep): 100 percent
County Superintendent of Schools
Jack Eggensperger (Rep): 100 percent
Adele Krantz (Rep) 100 percent
LR-128: Referendum submitting a 6-mill levy for support of the Montana University System to voters.
For: 72.9 percent
Against: 27.1 percent
LR-129: Referendum on prohibition of ballot collection by certain individuals.
For: 57.1 percent
Against: 42.9 percent
I-185: Raise tobacco taxes to fund health care programs.
For: 59.8 percent
Against: 40.2 percent
I-186: Require that new hard-rock mines in Montana have a reclamation plan that provides that the mine will not require perpetual treatment of water polluted by acid mine drainage or other contaminants such as arsenic, lead, or mercury.
For: 59.8 percent
Against: 40.2 percent
Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or email@example.com.