Civics students win Electoral College contest; Heading to the State Capital

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Staff Reporter

Mrs.Walczy, Ms.Paglia and Mr. Marchand wanted the 2016 election to come alive for their students. Mrs. Walczy found a contest through Michigan Council for History Education that offered students the chance to visit the state capitol during the official vote of Michigan’s electoral voters.

The contest required participating classes to correctly project which states would go Republican or Democrat in the November election and how many electoral votes that would give before the election occurred.

The students were ready for the task. They looked at a map and made their theory of who would win the vote. Mrs. Walczy’s 2nd – 4th Hours all participated in this chance to be able to go to the capitol to witness the voting process in action.

Each hour made their own projections through class discussions and student input. Each class was broken up into small groups, that were responsible for looking at voter trends, current polls and electoral college history to predict how that state would end up voting.  Although each class used the same data, they came up with different results.

After submitting their projections, the classes settled in for the wait to see how they did. Walczy submitted the entries the week before the election and found out the week before Thanksgiving via email.  3rd Hour received notification that they won 3rd place! “When 3rd Hour took third place, they were ecstatic and very excited to be able to get this opportunity,” Mrs. Paglia said.

The Electoral College will be voting on December 19. Three students are allowed to attend from 3rd Hour as part of the winning the contest. If one of Mrs. Walczy’s classes would have taken first place they could have brought ten students to the voting event.

This election brought a lot of chaos but Mrs. Walczy thinks it’ll be a great time to go watch. “It is such a great time to get to see this process in person because it is such a big part of our democracy and only happens every four year.  There will be security, but outside there may be protesters.”

Sadly, participating in the live visit is currently in a jeopardy. In the summer, both the Republican and Democratic parties promised to supply tickets for this event to the winners, but now they could be pulling back that offer. There is limited space in the Senate Chamber and because this is the first time in many years that a Republican has won Michigan, now those tickets may be taken by lawmakers instead.  I have called our State Senator, State Representative, the Michigan Republican Party,  and the Office of Governor Snyder but so far, no one can help.