Election blog: Two more schools go for Obama in mock election

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Throughout the day, we'll be posting updates on the election as it's happening around Roseville and Granite Bay, so refresh this page often. Got a tip? E-mail staff writer Nathan Donato-Weinstein at 7:36 p.m.: Obama blows out McCain at Eich Middle School It’s hard to imagine Sen. John McCain could be having a worse night. So it’s probably a good thing for the Arizona Republican that Eich Middle School didn’t decide the electoral vote. The Roseville school’s mock election handily gave the presidency to Democratic Sen. Barack Obama today, teacher Gil Gorospe reported. Obama trounced his rival with 448 electoral votes to McCain’s 90. But the school’s popular vote was much closer. A total of 227 students at the seventh- and eighth-grade school voted for McCain; 318 voted for Obama. “The popular vote was close, but the electoral vote was a pull-away,” Gorospe said. --Posted by | 7:34 p.m. Mock election watch: Buljan goes for Obama Another local school has mirrored the apparent national trend, reporting a blowout for Sen. Barack Obama in a mock election. At Buljan Middle School in Roseville, the Illinois Democrat easily trounced his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain of Arizona. A school secretary said earlier today Obama garnered 379 electoral votes, to McCain’s 159. The school did not take a popular vote. Students made up posters for their candidates, voted in homeroom and got the results at a school-wide assembly Tuesday. Posted by Nathan Donato-Weinstein | 7:25 p.m.: City plans local TV race coverage The Press-Tribune is planning complete election return coverage tonight beginning at 8 p.m. But it’s not the only place to go for local returns. COR-TV – the city’s cable television station – hosts a live election special tonight, with a focus on Roseville City Council, school boards, statewide initiatives, and the presidential and congressional contests. Catch it 8:30-10:30 p.m. on Comcast 14/SureWest 73. It’ll also be streaming online at Just don’t forget to refresh while you’re at it. Posted by Nathan Donato-Weinstein | 2:30 p.m.: Mr. Pickle's gets into the Election Day spirit A local Mr. Pickle’s sandwich shop struck an appropriately nonpartisan pose Tuesday with a patriotic rendition on a familiar sight at the corner of Cirby Way and Sunrise Boulevard in Roseville. The usual green pickle costume, a veritable fixture at the busy intersection, got an Election Day makeover for the occasion. The man behind the mask, seen above, is named Max Davies. He said the red, white and blue costume was his store manager’s idea. Response, he said, has been “better than usual.” It's quite a different political ambiance just a few miles down in Citrus Heights, where hundreds of demonstrators on both side of Proposition 8 are making their views known... --Posted by Nathan Donato-Weinstein | 2 p.m.: Volunteers pack phone bank for McClintock If Republican State Sen. Tom McClintock is successful tonight, he’ll owe a lot to an army of volunteers who were packing his east Roseville headquarters Monday. Several dozen – including more than a few supporters who weren’t yet old enough to vote – were making phone calls Tuesday afternoon, attempting to eek out every last vote for the 4th Congressional District hopeful. “Turnout looks great, our decline-to-states look great,” Campaign Manager John N. Feliz said at about 1 p.m. inside the Eureka Way office. A campaign volunteer coordinator said about 17 teams of three people each were checking poll registers, and targeting for a reminder Republicans who haven’t shown up yet. The hard-fought race for the 4th District, being vacated by Rep. John Doolittle, R-Granite Bay, has been the subject of intense scrutiny this year, as Democrats, sensing an opening, targeted the traditionally Republican district for an infusion of spending. But Republicans are fighting back, and Tuesday about 25 were manning cellular telephones to get out the vote. They even included several home-school families who enlisted their children to place calls. Among the volunteers were Lynnae Everson and her friend Robyn Wright. It was the first time either of them had worked on a campaign. “This is who I want to be president,” Everson, of Roseville, said of the Thousand Oaks Republican hopeful. She said the thought of a Barack Obama presidency “scares” her and conservatives like McClintock would be even more important to act as a check. “It’s good to see people stepping up for what they believe,” she said. --Posted by Nathan Donato-Weinstein | 12:15 p.m.: Granite Bay students give it to McCain The first Placer County results are in – among area schools, that is. Cavitt Jr. High in Granite Bay is among the first of several schools holding mock elections today to report results – and they look good for Sen. John McCain. The Arizona Republican handily beat rival his Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, garnering 332 electoral votes to Obama’s 206, in the student poll. At least 270 are needed to capture the presidency. McCain also took the Cavitt popular vote, 275 to 238. Stay tuned for results from Buljan and Eich middle schools. --Posted by Nathan Donato-Weinstein | 11:30 a.m.: Brown HQ buzzing in Old Town Roseville With just hours to go before the close of polls, the Charlie Brown headquarters in Old Town Roseville was buzzing Tuesday with volunteers making a last-minute phone push. About 20 volunteer staffers for the 4th District Congressional candidate were using cell phones to call undecided voters, as well as reminding committed Brown voters to get to the polls. “We’re cautiously optimistic,” a be-stubbled Todd Stenhouse, Brown’s spokesman, said. He said “hundreds” of volunteers were walking precincts, holding signs at major intersections and making phone calls today. “The energy and enthusiasm on the street is unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” he said. But Brown, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, faces an uphill climb against challenger Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, with GOP voter registration far ahead of Democrats in conservative CD4. Still, Brown volunteer phone-banker Craig Scherfenberg, of Roseville, was optimistic. The response, he said, “is pretty positive.” “The message is to send somebody from our district,” said Scherfenberg, who estimated he has made 1,000 calls or more in the last few weeks. Brown signs and T-shirts were everywhere, with volunteer schedules plastered on nearly every available wall surface. Phone banker Walt Scherer, of Loomis, was calling registered voters and reminding them to turn out today. “I’m telling them, ‘Democracy is not a spectator sport,’” he said. (We’ll also be making an unannounced stop at McClintock’s HQ this afternoon.) --posted by Nathan Donato-Weinstein | 10:30 a.m.: Bennies for voters? We’re on the hunt for perks from businesses being offered for those exercising their civic duty. It’s a sticky business, because there’s some evidence offering freebies for voters violates elections laws. Starbucks said today its previously announced free-coffee-for-anyone-who-voted program would be expanded to include anyone who asks. Locally, Big Spoon Yogurt is offering 10 percent off any purchase. The store is located at 1182 Roseville Parkway in the Fountains shopping center. --Posted by Nathan Donato-Weinstein | 9:45 a.m.: Clock starts ticking today on political yard signs Stealing others’ political yard signs you don’t agree with isn’t the only way to get in trouble when it comes to those ubiquitous advertisements. Those who wear their loyalties on their lawns have just 10 days after today to take their signs out of sight – or face a possible municipal code violation. Also, did you know the “total square footage” of signs on a single piece of property is limited to 128 square feet? Here’s what the code says about it: 17.10.180 Temporary noncommercial signs. Temporary noncommercial signs that meet all of the following criteria are exempt from the fee, permit and sticker provisions of this title. A. No individual sign shall exceed six square feet. B. Not more than six square feet of sign shall be maintained at any one time on a single parcel or lot. C. Notwithstanding the foregoing, 90 days prior to and 10 days following an election no more than an aggregate total of 128 square feet of temporary noncommercial signs may be maintained at any one time on a single parcel or lot, provided that each individual sign shall not exceed six square feet. D. No sign shall be placed on public property or within any public right-of-way. E. No sign shall be placed on private property without the permission of the property owner or tenant. --Posted by Nathan Donato-Weinstein (h/t Dee Dee Gunther) 9 a.m.: Will local schools point to win for Obama or McCain? Roseville-area students were poised to add their voices to the cacophony of polls today with several scheduling mock elections. We know of a few schools that had planned mock elections for today, or already held them. They include Eich Junior High in Roseville, Olympus Middle School in Granite Bay, Eureka School in Granite Bay, and Buljan Middle School in Roseville. Eich held a convention/rally yesterday, complete with masked stand-ins for Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain. A teacher getting in on the act even donned a Sarah Palin-inspired hairdo, hoisted a McCain sign and – perhaps taking inspiration from Tina Fey – wrote the words “Palin 2012” on the back. While Obama partisans screamed loudest for their candidate, there were also quite a few McCain supporters. One of them was Allie Coupe, an eighth-grader who said her Christian faith makes the issue of abortion crucial for her. Does being in the minority – judging by volume, at least – make her feel like a rebel? “That’s kind of normal for me,” she said with a laugh, drawing, perhaps, on her ticket’s “maverick” image. We’ll update you with the results of the mock school elections become available. If you know of another school holding a mock election today, e-mail us and we'll try to include it, too. --Posted by Nathan Donato-Weinstein 7:50 a.m.: About those turnout predictions… A roughly 15-minute wait greeted the first crop of voters at 7 a.m. today inside the west Roseville precinct at the Sikh Society of Northern California on Main Street in Roseville. A steady line of about 15 to 25 snaked toward the door as poll workers handed out ballots. At one point, the precinct’s seven booths were filled so voters simply sat down at some of the hall’s tables to fill out their ballots. Apparently, poll workers didn't have enough privacy screens, either, but that didn't seem to bother anyone too much. I’ve been going to the precinct for years and can’t ever remember a line that long, so it will be interesting to see if it augurs the extremely high turnout some elections watchers are predicting. County elections chief Jim McCauley told me last week Placer turnout among registered voters could be in the mid-80-percent range. He also said something else helpful: because of the possibility of lines, fill out those sample ballots. This year’s is a very long ballot. We're interested in hearing about your polling place experience. Send it over to and we could publish it on the blog. --Posted by Nathan Donato-Weinstein