Low Country Students Hold Mock Elections - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/28/04

Low Country Students Hold Mock Elections

Candidates are working hard to get your vote, and today, some young people got involved in the political process. Students at Hilton Head High School are hitting the polls in a mock election teachers and students are hoping will encourage others to cast their ballots on November 2.

"Too often kids think their vote doesn't count, that they don't have a say in how this country is run," said teacher Steve Schidrich. "We want kids to understand the political process and understand they do have a say by voting."

"I think it helps, and hopefully when kids are old enough to vote, maybe it will inspire them to vote," said student Elizabeth White.

For a month now, students have been polling their classmates, and after that first presidential debate, opinions changed. "One of the questions students wanted to know is who they were comfortable running the economy, Bush or Kerry," said Schidrick. "For the first poll, Bush's numbers were hirer but after the debate Kerry was ahead."

But when asked who would handle the situation in Iraq better, students changed their minds after the debates and chose Bush.

When students actually hit the polls, they chose Bush over Kerry by 17 votes. Even though most of these students aren't old enough to actually cast their ballot, their votes in this mock election could be more valuable than you think.

"A lot of these kids--their opinions form because of what their parents talk to them about," said student Casey Scott. "That actually reflects about what the voting population faces about the same issues."

They also voted on some local races, using real ballots from the county. The results: students preferred Inez Tenenbaum over Jim DeMint for the South Carolina Senate seat, and would give Joe Wilson his seat in the House of Representatives back.

The students also support the one-percent sales tax referendum to pay for road improvements and other projects.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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