Monday, November 3, 2008

Technology helps bring Election Awareness to OHS

The presidential debate of 2008 has come to O’Neill High School. Students in Mr. Wayne Hesse’s 6th hour Current Issues class have been working to provide both a debate and a mock election to bring the important issues at stake home to each student. Last week each student in school was given the opportunity to vote in a nation-wide, on-line election hosted by the Youth Leadership Initiative. This mock election was easily assisted by the fact that every student had access to vote via their MacBook.

For the past two weeks students have had the opportunity to “register” for the in-school election. On Tuesday, October 28, those registered to vote were invited to a mock debate where the McCain-Palin team faced off against Obama-Biden. Graham Luber served as moderator. Hayley Herzog carried the Barack Obama argument, assisted by Makayla Havranek as Joe Biden. Across the platform, Kayla Clyde delivered the John McCain address with Amanda Heerman standing in as Sarah Palin.

Herzog, commenting on her participation in the debate said, “I’ve always been a political person, but being able to participate in the school debate helped me to learn more about both of the candidates and their views. I think that there is nothing like being able to debate in class about the issues that are important to me to help me figure out where I stand.” Clyde admits that she had never been really “a political person”. “Now that I have become involved through research for this activity, I’ve been able to find my own views. I have a better idea of what kind of American I want to be.” Both sides extensively utilized the Internet for their research, along with writing the campaign headquarters for additional information.

From a student population of 379, 167 registered to vote in our school election, 44% of the student body. Broken down by class, 20% of 7th graders registered. Among 8th grader, 83% registered. For high schoolers, 9th grade saw 33% registration, 18% for 10th graders, 53% of 11th graders and 61% of seniors. The in-school election ran all day on Wednesday, October 29 with election results posted on Monday, November 3.


McCain 68 or 59.6%
Obama 46 or 40.3%

Johanns 74 or 64.5%
Kleeb 24 or 22%
Rosberg 10 or 9.25%

Smith 92 or 85%
Stoddard 16 or 14.8%
Mr. Brown 1 or .009%

Interesting facts:

Party affiliation
Rep 39 or 60%
Dem 20 or 30.1%
Ind 6 or 09%

Straight Party Rep 54 or 47.7%
Straight Party Dem 10 or 08%
Crossed Party Lines 49 or 43%

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