Homer teens favor Obama in mock election

• Results show reversal of teens mimicking parents’ vote.
By Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune

Photo provided - U.S. Government students in Dennis Welch’s class debate election issues.

Photo provided - U.S. Government students in Dennis Welch’s class debate election issues.

Homer High School was one only two schools in Alaska to take part in My Voice National Student Mock Election and the resulting ballot counts might surprise the students’ parents.
In much larger percentages, they rejected the Alaska adult majority’s favored candidate in Mitt Romney and backed President Barack Obama for a second term. Ballot results from the Homer High VOTES Program showed Obama and Vice President Joe Biden won187 votes, or 51 percent to Romney and Paul Ryan’s 136 votes, or 37 percent. Of the other presidential candidates,
Green Party Candidate Jill Stein took 17 votes, or 5 percent. Constitutional Party Candidate Virgil Goode won 17 votes, or 5 percent and Libertarian Gary Johnson took 11 votes, or 3 percent.
Homer and Haines High Schools joined with 101 other schools in the VOTES program and gave Obama the majority vote.
VOTES is the nation’s largest student-driven civics project, which invites students to take part in the election, said Homer High History and Government Teacher Dennis Welch. Of the 103-school national results, President Obama emerged as the students’ presidential choice receiving 85.5 percent of the electoral votes and Massachusetts Gov. Romney received 14.5 percent.
Since 1980, students in classrooms across the United States have been voting for President, their members of Congress and governors. Homer’s teen vote focused only on the presidential election, exploring the entire spectrum of possible outcomes prior to Nov. 6 on an interactive U.S. map, Welch said. The lesson focused on the way the electoral college functions.
“Students were super excited. U.S. History and Government has garnered a great deal of interest this year,” Welch said. “They studied the . Electoral College and popular voting. We did a class-wide voter registration drive for all who would be 18 and eligible to vote in the (real) General Election. They were excited about their first vote.”
The mock VOTES results are significant this year, Welch points out, as a national phenomena showing students didn’t mimic their parent’s voting choice as in past election years.
“This was a nationwide phenomena. Students in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama voted overwhelmingly for Obama while their parents favored Romney,” Welch said. “This bucks the trend of students voting the way their parents do. Over the years, it’s usually a mirror of the community. This year’s is full of paradoxes.”
Political analysts contend that Obama won largely due to votes from minorities such as Latin Americans, women, single mothers and young people. That teens also fit into the category of “young people” may catch observers off guard because teens are several years younger than that voting category. They do not yet share the struggles of college educated students facing few job prospects, for example.
Or, perhaps they do.
“I was surprised by my students’ activism. They knew the issues that were at stake,” Welch said.
Smart Boards now provide the visual technology for an interactive study of the electoral college as expressed in ‘red’ or ‘blue’ state majorities. Welch’s students looked at swing states, trying out ‘what if’ Romney took battleground states like Colorado, Ohio and Florida. Then they looked at what the result would be if Obama took those states. This allowed them to anticipate who would win on the electoral college votes.
“We tried so many different scenarios on how it might come out, and the students were really excited. Parents asked to see the map,” Welch said.
In the end, Homer High students were surprised by the national results: In the case of the mock student vote, even voters in the battle ground states of Florida, Colorado, Ohio and Virginia all favored President Obama. He was able to take 28 states, while Romney took 22.
Due to Storm Sandy, 14 electoral votes were not distributed. About five schools in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania were unable to hold their mock elections due to school damages, electrical outages and severe flooding.

Homer Middle School Votes
Voting results for the eighth grade U.S. History classes at Homer Middle School showed students favored Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan by 37 votes to the Obama-Biden team. They cast 29 votes for the incumbents.
Another 14 votes were cast for Libertarian Gary Johnson.
The 80 students voting participated from the U.S. History classes of Suzanne Haines, Holly Alston and Darcy Mueller.
In the end, Homer High students were surprised by the national results: In the case of the mock student vote, even voters in the battle ground states of Florida, Colorado, Ohio and Virginia all favored President Obama. He was able to take 28 states, while Romney took 22.
Due to Storm Sandy, 14 electoral votes were not distributed. About five schools in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania were unable to hold their mock elections due to school damages, electrical outages and severe flooding.

Photo provided - Homer High School students help campaign for their “mock”election.

Photo provided - Homer High School students help campaign for their “mock”election.

Homer Middle School Votes
Voting results for the eighth grade U.S. History classes at Homer Middle School showed students favored Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan by 37 votes to the Obama-Biden team. They cast 29 votes for the incumbents.
Another 14 votes were cast for Libertarian Gary Johnson.
The 80 students voting participated from the U.S. History classes of Suzanne Haines, Holly Alston and Darcy Mueller.

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Posted by on Nov 14th, 2012 and filed under Youth. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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