Ivanhoe Elementary students choose Johnson over Walz

IVANHOE — While voters cast ballots on Tuesday, Ivanhoe grade school students took part in a mock election. In that process, Tim Walz lost to Republican candidate Jeff Johnson by a vote of 20 for Johnson compared to 15. Other Democratic candidates including Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. elect Tina Smith and Rep. Collin Peterson all lost by almost the same margin.

“It’s possible that some students voted for Republicans because they were first on the ballot this year,” said Ivanhoe grade school Principal Heather Anderson. “We encouraged them to find out about the candidates and then make up their own minds.”

She added that Tuesday’s mock election was a step toward helping the youngest generation become aware of the political process. They had a chance to cast ballots in replicated voting booths, and to receive a sticker after voting.

Anderson saw signs that the mock election helped to stir interest among students in concerns that are important to their families, neighbors and community.

“Some of them mentioned how they voted for someone because they recognized a name or because they’d seen signs,” she said. “That’s a start. It was a good learning experience that encourages them to be aware and involved.”