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Prescott students Dylan Peterson (left) and Andrew Taylor in front of the hallway election bulletin board they created. Submitted photo

Chuck Norris for president

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education Ellsworth,Wisconsin 54011 http://www.piercecountyherald.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/23/0613/ls-mockelectionstickerssub2.jpg?itok=24tJYAy8
Pierce County Herald
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Chuck Norris for president
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

Those who were eligible to vote in Pierce County Tuesday went to each of their polling places and cast their vote in multiple elections, including president, house of representative and numerous state races.

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At the same time, that wasn't the only election going on in Pierce County.

The five school districts in the county the Herald covers -- Ellsworth, Elmwood, Plum City, Prescott and Spring Valley -- each held a mock election for president.

While Barack Obama and John McCain garnered most of the votes, there were a few surprises as well. One Prescott Middle School student thought Chuck Norris would make a good president and wrote him in.

Ellsworth

The district's two elementary schools, Hillcrest and Prairie View, along with the middle school, held mock elections.

The results from Prairie View showed Republican John McCain won its election with 115 votes to Democrat Barack Obama's 86. Prairie View houses students PreK-4.

Hillcrest did things a little different than its Prairie View counterpart, as students in only second and third grades voted. The four second grade classes saw McCain defeating Obama 38-25, thanks to a 13-3 advantage in both Kris Eaton's and Karen Solyntjes' classrooms.

"What was very interesting was that my Obama supporters were very vocal and enthusiastic, while my McCain supporters were more reserved and private about their vote," Solyntjes said.

Fellow second grade teachers Kathleen Birkel and Cheryl Martin stated each student in their class sent a letter to President-Elect Obama with their suggestions on what kind of pet the Obamas should get. During his acceptance speech, President-Elect Obama told his two daughters they would be getting a puppy.

"It was a fun experience for the students and adults," Birkel said.

The third grade, which is also made up of four classes, saw Obama edge out McCain 38-32.

McCain won the middle school's vote as well, edging out Obama 216-211. The middle school is made up of students in grades 5 through 8.

Based on overall results for Ellsworth, McCain won with 401 votes to Obama's 360. The percentages equal out to 52.6 for McCain to 47.3 for Obama.

Elmwood

Elementary students in grades PreK-5 voted and the results showed Obama carrying Elmwood with 87 votes (55 percent) to McCain's 57 (36). Fourteen students voted for other candidates. It was noted the PreK students voted for the presidential candidates by circling pictures of the respective candidate.

Plum City

Plum City students did something a little different than their county counterparts. Those in grades K-8 voted a week ago Monday on the website studiesweeklyvote.com, a site nationwide that schools could use.

Coordinator Steve Ottman said individual school results were not known, but Plum City's results were tabulated with results from other state schools participating in it. Therefore, Wisconsin results showed Obama won the race with 8,615 votes to McCain's 6,046. Nationwide, Obama crushed McCain with 497,054 votes to 350,691. And just like the real election, the website had an electoral vote as well. Obama ended up with 474 votes, equaling 39 states, McCain had 61 or 11 states, while North Dakota's popular vote was tied, leaving it up for grabs.

Prescott

Tuesday was the culmination of a project for eight Malone Elementary students, as they helped coordinate its election. Malone Gifted and Talented Coordinator Kelly Johnson explained the eight students from the LAMP (Learning for Able and Motivated in Prescott) program were in charge of the election as, among other things, they set up a voting booth, a ballot box and voter registration cards for everyone who voted. Johnson said those students also learned about the background of elections, political parties, and where McCain and Obama stood on the issues.

"It was a good leadership opportunity," she said.

The final results showed McCain defeating Obama 275-272. Students in kindergarten through the fifth grade voted, along with the staff. McCain enjoyed his biggest win with the second graders by a 49-31 count. Obama countered with a 43-30 win in the fourth grade, but it wasn't enough to overcome the deficit.

"Overall, it was a fun day," Johnson added.

Obama responded by winning the middle school vote, 129-122, with Ralph Nader getting four votes. The middle school is made up of grades 6-8.

Obama ended up winning the Prescott vote 401-397.

Spring Valley

Fifth-grade teacher Kari Crownhart said SV's election theme was about reality.

"We wanted to make it very realistic to show students what they had to do in voting," Crownhart said.

The assignment for that fell to the fifth grade students, who oversaw the election. They helped develop voting booths and a ballot box. They also created a sign-up sheet all students had to sign in, along with handing out information about each candidate.

"They ran a very mature and professional election," Crownhart said. "A lot of people came away very impressed."

Results were divided into four sections: kindergarten, first and second grade, third and fourth grade, and fifth and sixth grade. Obama ended up winning the overall vote 215-178, thanks to a 63-42 advantage in the first and second grade section.

A compilation of the four school results showed Obama won the school vote with a 1,063-1,033 vote over McCain. Obama also took the real vote in Pierce County as well by a 54-45 percent margin.

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Jason Schulte
Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 
(715) 243-7767 x243
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