On Tuesday morning, the 18-year-old student activist cast a real ballot for the Democratic presidential nominee.
“I think Obama cares more about the middle class,” said Shane, a member of the campus’ Young Democrats of America club. “He promises change, especially from the current economic climate, which isn’t good. Our country needs change.”
The majority of students who voted in the mock election apparently disagreed with Shane.
Sixty-percent of the students who cast ballots voted for Arizona Sen. John McCain in the mock election.
“I hope this is a sign of things to come,” said senior Audrey Jones, who voted for Arizona Sen. John McCain in the mock election. “I don’t like the idea that Obama is planning to raise taxes and spread the wealth between those who worked hard for their money and those who didn’t. I mean, why should someone who strived to succeed in business have to give some of their money to someone who didn’t strive, who didn’t work hard?”
Jones, Kevin Blanton and Mikela Lifland founded the Teen-Age Republicans chapter at A.C. Jones High School last school year.
“They already had a Young Democrats of America chapter on campus and we thought it was important for students to hear conservative, Republican viewpoints as well,” she explained.
English teacher Gina Latcham sponsors the TARS club. Art instructor Jerry Rivera Jr. sponsors the Young Democrats of America club.
Only freshman voters cast a majority of their ballots in favor of Obama, according to results of the mock election,
A majority of sophomores, juniors and seniors endorsed McCain.
Social studies teacher John Kidd said the mock election is held prior to each presidential election to allow students campuswide the opportunity to experience democracy and the electoral process.
“It’s our civic duty to vote,” said Kidd, whose students are studying current affairs and who are paying close attention to the political campaigns this year. “I want my students to understand the importance of exercising their civic responsibility to vote.”
Kidd teams up with social studies instructor Scott Jones to host the mock election with help from Latcham and Rivera. English teacher, and National Honor Society sponsor, Louanne Leboureau helped with the election as well.
Kidd’s students are required to research and write a term paper on candidates as part of their grade.
“My students have been studying the issues and the candidates so they are well-informed,” Kidd said, adding that he believes most if not all of them voted in the mock election.
Unfortunately, he noted, a mere 110 of the 1,100 or so students on campus cast ballots in the mock election.
“I was hoping for a better turnout but then that probably mirrors what happens in a real election, maybe not this one because of its historical significance, but in most elections turnout is low,” said Kidd, who also teaches U.S. history and a dual credit history course for college credit.
Here are the results of the mock election:
McCain/Palin — 60 percent.
Obama/Biden — 40 percent.
Breakdown by grades
Freshman class — Obama/Biden, 67 percent; McCain/Palin, 33 percent.
Sophomore class — McCain/Palin, 67 percent; Obama/Biden, 33 percent.
Junior class — McCain/Palin, 58 percent; Obama/Biden, 42 percent.
Senior class — McCain/Palin, 63 percent; Obama/Biden, 37 percent.
Teen Republican Audrey Jones, 17, confessed she was surprised at the outcome of the mock election, given the fact that most polls show young voters flocking to Obama’s campaign.
“I guess it shows you can’t always trust polls,” she said.