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9/29/2014 The Romeo Observer - Romeo, Michigan: Northern Macomb County's weekly newspaper since 1866

http://www.romeoobserver.com/Story.asp?storyid=13193 1/2
Published at PO Box 96 124 W. St. Clair Romeo, MI 48065. Phone: (586)752-3524 Fax: (586)752-0548
Updated Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 3 PM EST
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You are Viewing an Archived Issue
Posted: 11/05/08
Romeo's first mock election
chooses Obama, 51% to 49%
Statewide, Obama leading
early Tuesday with 64%
by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
Romeo students chose Senator Barack Obama as the next
President of the United States.
2008's historic election was the first time Romeo students
participated in the National Student/Parent Mock Election, which
gives tomorrow's voters a chance to express their opinion and learn
the importance of voting in America.
The non-partisan program has allowed students ranging from
kindergarten to college-level to participate since 1980. While it is
not considered a scientific sampling, schools collectively across the
nation have predicted the winner in at least the past three elections,
according to several news sources.
On Oct. 30, students at the Romeo Engineering and Technology
Center went online with special, single-use codes to cast their votes
for the president, Senate and House of Representatives.
Out of the 102 votes cast by Romeo students, 52 votes were for
Obama and 50 for Senator John McCain. This means 51 percent of
students who voted were for the Democratic candidate while 49
percent voted for the Republican candidate.
A total of 159 students were registered, meaning 64 percent of
registered students voted.
Romeo High School U.S. History teacher Tim Bussineau said he
has wanted to get involved in the mock election for several years but
never had the proper time to do it right. This year, with assistance
from Oakland University education student Josh Stewart, he was
able to bring the election to students, who took over from there.
"Everything that you see was generated by students except for
designing the registration ballots," he said. "Ultimately, I hope this
encourages students to vote in the future."
While the votes don't count toward the real election, it does give
students a sense of participation and teaches about the election
process, said Stewart.
"As a future teacher, I know it's important to do your civic duty,
but to see kids who are, even though it really doesn't count, really
excited and wanting to be involved is good," he said.
Bussineau's classes were given the task of registering voters,
getting their name, student I.D. number and their first- and fourth-
hour teacher. Students in Bussineau's class received extra credit for
every 100 kids that voted.
Freshman Troy deHagen said he and his friends registered at
least 40 students for the mock election.
"A lot of (the students) were talking a lot about the war," he
said. "Either that or about Obama's race or how McCain is old."
Bussineau said during classroom discussions, issues like the
War on Iraq and the economy were the most common concerns for
students.
"The kids are much more knowledgeable for a presidential
election," he said. "It's probably because they're hearing their family
talk about it and seeing commercials."
Freshman Enea Arllai was happy to cast his vote for Obama,
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9/29/2014 The Romeo Observer - Romeo, Michigan: Northern Macomb County's weekly newspaper since 1866
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Earlier saying he was a big fan of Obama's policies on immigrants.
"It makes me feel like I'm a part of something to vote," he said.
Freshman Lauren Apley said issues important to her and her
family, such as gun control, taxes and abortion inspired her to
participate.
"I liked the chance to voice my opinion," she said.
Bussineau believes the Romeo results were so close because the
demographics of the area lean toward the Republican Party.
"Knowing the area, any other election I would say McCain
would've won, but Obama appeals to the youth," he said. "I think
they connect to his speaking style, his appearance."
As of Tuesday morning, 65 percent of Michigan students voted
for Obama and 30 percent voted for McCain. The national results
leaned toward the Democratic candidate as well, with 64 percent for
Obama and 32 percent for McCain.
The local mock election echoed the real election in many ways.
For instance, students had to juggle their schedules to vote either
before school, during lunch or during fourth hour classes. They also
had to show a student I.D., just like actual voters had to show photo
I.D. at the polls.
In real elections, people line up early to be among the first to
vote. In the Romeo vote, junior Britain Kaminskas stood at the door
of Bussineau's classroom at 6:57 a.m. to be the first.
"My room actually got packed, we had almost 70 kids vote in the
first half hour," he said. "For a teacher, it was a good chaos."
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Retrieved 9/29/2014 at 11:47:24 AM.
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