Friday, October 15, 2004

Students congregate at polls

WR High students cast votes

Express Staff Writer

Wood River High School students cast their ballots during a mock election. Photo by David N. Seelig

Weeks before the polls officially open to voters, Wood River High School students stood in line to cast their ballots. The students turned out to vote in a mock election held on Thursday, Oct. 14 at the school. The mock election mirrored the official general election giving students the opportunity to express their views on national, state and local issues.

?Now that I am 18, the decisions really do affect me. I think I am more aware of what is going on,? said Laura Parker, a high school senior, who will vote in her first official election in November.

The Blaine County Election Office hosted the mock election sponsored by the high school?s social studies department. The mock election mirrored the officially election process, with the only minor difference being the Election Office staff did not call out the students? names after they voted.

Each student received a ballot identical to the ones that are used in the November election. The students voted in the official individual metal booths.

?It was kind of confusing,? said Jens Peterson, a Wood River junior. He added that the mock election is good practice for when he will be able to vote officially.

The students cast their votes with a mature understanding of the issues and candidates.

?I am following the debates religiously,? commented Anneka Preston, a high school junior.

Most of the students who stood in line waiting for their ballots, had watched the presidential debates and had closed in on the issues that pertained to their lives.

?I think the college issue is a big deal for us,? Parker said. She added that, ?being drafted is a very real issue for me.?

The election allowed the students to express their views and experience the democratic process.

?I feel like a true American citizen now that I was able to vote,? Preston said walking away from the polls.

The results from the student election will be printed in the Wednesday paper.

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