Politics took center stage at Middlesboro High School on Tuesday, as the entire student body participated in a mock presidential election. When the results came in a total of 102 students voted for Mitt Romney, while 69 students voted for president Barack Obama.
The students also voted in the local state representative race and those results were nearly a dead heat. Current state Rep. Rick Nelson received 51 percent of the votes, while challenger Josh Howard had 49 percent.
“It’s a great real world connection for our kids to see not only how democracy works, but how important their voice is,” said Middlesboro Principal Bobby Bennett. “It’s turned out to be a really great event for our students to become aware of what is going on in the world around them and become involved in their community and what goes on nationally.”
Students who were 16 and 17 years old were also able to register for the 2014 election.
The event was put together by the social studies, math and English departments. The three departments worked together to come up with a schoolwide event so students could see something relative to what they study in the classroom.
With the national election coming up on Nov. 6, they decided that a mock election was the best thing. Bell County Clerk Becky Blevins brought a voting machine over to the high school for students to use.
“It went wonderful,” said Blevins, “All the students listened really well and wanted to vote. Some kids didn’t even eat lunch because they wanted to vote.”
The student government put together a mock debate so students would know what and who they were voting for in the election. The English department contributed by helping the kids imitate each candidate.
Kyle Burrgess played the part of Romney. C.J. Blackstone played the role of Obama. Joel Parker was the moderator of the debate, which was presented to the students before the voting.
Prior to the election, the math department gathered stats from all the classrooms to form a poll of what the outcome might be like.
The MHS mock election will be registered with a national website that compiles the results from every school in America that performed a mock election. The results will be put together and then compared to the outcome of the national election in November.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at email@example.com or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext.208.