DHS students take part in mock election

Published 11:41 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In just a few days, the nation’s voters will go to the polls to select the next president of the United States. At Demopolis High School, students were able to make their own selections in the National Student/Parent Mock Election.

The mock election was held Monday through today, and students cast their votes online not only for the next leader of the free world, but for state offices as well.

Students even had to show a valid ID if they had one to closer mimic the voting process. They then sat at computer screens that showed the National Student/Parent Mock Election ballot and went to work.

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“There are seven candidates for president,” said DHS social studies department head Danny Wasson. “We include the third-party candidates in this, too. The Web site is set up as an Alabama ballot, so they can vote for Artur Davis, for example (for U.S. Representative).

“Then, they go to the next screen, and students are asked about a variety of issues, like the economy, energy, security, health care and the war in Iraq. Then, it asks where the money should be limited, and then, they’re done.”

The results from DHS and other schools nationwide are tabulated by the National Student/Parent Mock Election through Friday. This year marked the first time that Demopolis High School used the computer site for the mock election. Before, they wrote out their choices on a piece of paper and put it in a ballot box.

“The students in the government classes are running it,” Wasson said. “They’re standing outside and making sure everyone signs in. It’s gone pretty smoothly over the last few days.”

The experience has proven to be educational for the students taking part.

“It means a lot,” senior Marcus Jackson, 18, said of taking part in his first election this Tuesday. “Any time a President gets elected, you get to be a part of history. This mock election is a way of preparing the younger students for the future.”

“This gives us a chance to ‘be older’ without taking part in the real election,” said senior Courtney Hoven, 17.

“This made me understand that voting is very important to the United States, and everyone needs to go out and vote,” said senior Caliethia Phillips, 17.

Regardless of who they voted for, DHS students got a taste of the election process. Once they see how easy the procedure is, that may make them want to voice their votes in each real-life election.