|WHS students get voting experience|
|Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
Romney wins mock Presidential election at WHS
By PATRICK HALL
Almost 350 students at Watertown High School cast their vote in a mock Presidential election Monday morning and many registered to vote as the Wilson County Election Commission continues its effort to reach young voters.
The Election Commission set up and organized the mock election with the Future Business Leaders of America, or FBLA, club helping to get students in to vote. In just over an hour-and-a-half, 342 students voted.
WHS Business Technology teacher Ella Williams, who leads the school’s FBLA club, said the mock election ties in with curriculum in several classes and helps students become more familiar with the voting process.
“We used this as a schoolwide civics project,” Williams said. “This fit perfectly in our curriculum.”
Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren and Assistant Administrator Tammy Smith walked the students through the process of using the electronic voting machines and students were able to cast their vote choosing from the candidates that will appear on the Nov. 6 Presidential election ballot.
Republican candidate Mitt Romney won the mock election, receiving 196 votes to President Barack Obama’s 114 votes.
Williams said she hopes students who are soon to be old enough to vote will use the experience to get more involved and be active when they reach the legal voting age. Warren said 22 students registered to vote Monday morning.
Smith said if the students turn 18 on or before the Nov. 6 election, they would be able to vote, but if not, their registration would be processed when they turned 18.
“It would be great to do this every year, to start a tradition,” Warren said. “They (the students) are the future and we want them to be more informed.”
Warren said the students were able to vote for one of six candidates on the ballot for President, including candidates from the Constitutional and Green parties. Warren noted this is the first year both parties have been officially recognized in Tennessee.
Williams felt the mock election would help students become more familiar with their civic duties and being able to use the electronic voting machines would make them more comfortable when going to vote.
“This experience, hopefully it will help them vote because they’ve seen the machines,” she said.
Another mock election was scheduled to be held this morning at Mt. Juliet Christian, and Warren said he and Smith planned to speak to classes at that school as well.
Warren and Smith spent time this past week at Lebanon and Mt. Juliet High Schools and Friendship Christian School talking to classes about the importance of voting. Smith said about 50 students from those schools registered to vote and many more took the forms home with them.
Warren noted the Election Commission will continue speaking to high school students this week with a trip to Wilson Central High School on Thursday.