On November 6, 2012, thirty-two Kiowa County junior high students went to the polls to cast their votes.
Both 7th and 8th grade students participated in the mock election in Kirk Miller’s social studies class.
Classes were issued a sample ballot on Monday, November 5.
Miller went over the ballot during class time so the students would be informed on the offices that were being filled in this election. Monday’s lesson featured an overview of the Electoral College and how it works. In addition, students were exposed to the levels of government in the United States, Kansas, and Kiowa County.
On November 6, students used the website, www.ontheissues.org to take an online political ideology survey. The purpose was to educate students on their feelings about current issues facing America.
They learned what it means to be Republican or Democrat.
Students were introduced to political ideologies such as: conservative, liberal, and moderate. Upon completion of the survey, students were able to use the results to compare and contrast their views with the beliefs of both Presidential Candidates on the same issues.
The goal was for students to make logical and informed decisions when they voted.
The results were tabulated at the conclusion of regular classes on Tuesday.
In the Presidential race, the Romney team took a commanding victory over Obama with a vote of 23 to 8. The result of the KCJH Presidential election was fairly consistent with the rest of the state.
In the U.S. Representative race for District 4, Mike Pompeo (R) took the victory with 18 total votes. Thomas Jefferson (Lib.) took second with 9 votes. Democrat, Robert Tillman came in last with 4 votes. On a side note, some students admitted they voted for Thomas Jefferson because the first Thomas Jefferson was a good leader and they though this one would be also.
The Kansas House 117 race was a landslide victory for Kiowa County’s own Dennis McKinney (D). Dennis took the race in easy fashion by a vote of 29 to 2 over Republican John Ewy.
“I think the results of this race speak highly of the influence Mr. McKinney has on our community and youth,” said Miller.
On Wednesday, students discussed the results of both the national, state, and local elections. The instructor informed classes of what they mean for our nation and how changes will take place because of the newly elected officials. When asked what he thought of the overall experience, seventh grader, Peter Banman said, “I liked it because we got to chose who represents us in office.”
Page 2 of 2 - “I feel like this was a great experience for our youth,” said Miller. “I appreciate the help of the Kiowa County Courthouse in producing the sample ballots and the, ‘I Voted’ stickers for the kids. The students did a great job of taking the lesson seriously; doing their research, and voting for the person whom they thought would do the best job for us. My hope is that this lesson will lay a foundation for our young people that taking part in the election process is a vital part of maintaining our democratic values in America. Hopefully, they will be knowledgeable and informed when they go to the polls when they become eligible to vote!”