Mock election precedes vote
JANESVILLE Elementary school students here will hold their own election the week before the nation chooses its next president.
The mock election will feature simulated candidate appearances next week with high school students impersonating the candidates and their entourages. The vote will be Friday, Nov. 2.
The city's public and private schools have cooperated in this exercise for many presidential elections. Students went overwhelmingly for Barack Obama in 2008.
The kids also accurately predicted the real vote in 1988, 1992 and 1996. But they were wrong in 2000 and 2004, going for Democrats Al Gore and John Kerry over the winner, George W. Bush.
The run-up to the student vote will include presentations about voting and the Electoral College.
Monday through Wednesday, Parker High School students in the Advanced Placement government class will take on the roles of presidential candidates, their spouses, Secret Service agents, etc.
Austin Kessler and Joe Jarstad will take turns portraying President Barack Obama. Travis Hawkinson and Austin McDonald are scheduled to be Vice President Joe Biden.
John Muetz and Colin Murdy will portray Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Tyler Weilbrenner and Jacob Dorsey will be Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan.
The candidates will arrive at elementary schools in their "campaign bus" and debate in front of the students. Each stop is expected to last 30 minutes.
The elementary school children will vote the morning of Friday, Nov. 2.
Votes will be totaled at each school and telephoned to a "newscaster." Students and the community will be able to view the "newscast" starting at 1 p.m. on Janesville cable TV channels 96 and 993.
Officials hope to have a video of the results show online by the evening of Friday, Nov. 2, at janesville.pegcentral.com.
The real election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.