Buljan students select Obama as president
The students filed in and out of their campus library at Buljan Middle School on Oct. 2 getting a taste for what adulthood will bring: The right to vote.
During the mock election, sixth and seventh graders cast their vote for U.S. president, and eighth graders also voted on Proposition 37, the Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food Initiative, and Proposition 34, the End the Death Penalty Initiative.
“It was interesting to see the kids discuss (Proposition 34),” said social studies teacher Brett Milton. “We were sensitive about it because it’s a sensitive issue.”
Each class represented a different state as part of the Electoral College. Some students asked if they had to vote, and teachers told them no — that’s their right, too.
“We wanted to emphasize the importance of what your vote means when you do vote,” Milton said. “We have lots of things you can weigh in on and have your voice heard.”
He said the goal of the mock election is to pique students’ interest in civic engagement.
Sixth grader Morgan Devries decided to go with her mom’s choice when selecting the country’s next president.
“I think his name is Mitt,” she said. “My mom is not impressed with Obama so she was going to vote for (Romney).”
Eighth grader Jacob Newman debated who to vote for, ultimately settling on Romney, and voted yes on Proposition 37. Even though he’s worried about any associated costs with new food labeling, he thinks the expense is worth it. He voted no on Proposition 34.
“I think we should keep the death penalty,” Jacob said. “I feel kind of bad saying that.”
Eighth grader Luna Gonzalez voted to give Barack Obama another term. She also voted in favor of both propositions.
“I don’t want to eat food that has stuff in it that I don’t know about,” Luna said.
At a post-election assembly, students learned who would become their next fictitious president: Obama won, earning 13 more electoral votes than Romney, according to social studies teacher Tiffany Palmer, whose students worked the polls. Obama also narrowly won the popular vote at 560, with 538 for his challenger.
Proposition 34 failed and Proposition 37 passed.