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Summerville High Wants Romney

AP Government students at SHS release the mock election results. Romney claims victory by a landslide, but the turnout causes some pause and reflects the growing issue of voter apathy in America.

Mitt Romney is the people's choice at .

After holding a mock election Tuesday, the AP Government class has released the results, which showed that GOP presidential contender Romney beat incumbent President Barack Obama with 68.2 percent of the votes. Only Obama and Romney were placed on the ballot in order to make it as close as possible to a general election, and working under the assumption that Romney would be the Republican candidate.

According to the released data, 245 students and faculty participated in the election, and about 50 students registered to vote in the upcoming presidential election. Unlike the mock election of 2008, the voting booths were made open to all faculty members that wanted to participate.

Cameron Williams, a senior, was one of the students who supported a different Republican candidate, but still participated in the mock election because "when it comes time to vote for the next president, there is a decent chance that the person I support most is not there. At that point, I have to make a decision and vote for the person who I agree the most with out of who is left."

The result of the election is as suprising as it is not. In the 2008 mock election, many students participated in the mock election, and Obama emerged as the clear victor. AP Government teacher Scott Coghill stated that because SHS has a large amount of females, minorities, and Title I students, the voting trend tends to lean Democratic. However, Romney's victory shows the dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs and Obama's stint in the presidency.

The mock election was not simply an exploration into how elections work for the AP students. The election also served to stimulate awareness about voting, register eligible students and faculty members to vote, and to compare data gathered from entrance polls to national data.

In the entrance poll, students noted basic demographic information, such as age, gender, and race, as well as who the voter intended to vote for. The data gathered will be broken down in order to identify voting trends of the school's women, minorities, age groups, and other criteria.

Billy Hester, one of the AP Government students running the election, stated that he hopes to learn if "students from all sorts of ethnicities and backgrounds voted in an intelligent manner, and that their votes were supported by political reasoning and not a preconceived bias."

Despite the fact that Summerville has about 3,000 students and faculty, the 245 that voted reflect the voter apathy that seems rampant in today's political atmosphere.

One such student was Ashley Goedirt, who did not vote because "because they only gave us two options ... Plus, it was a mock election, it wasn't real so it's not like my opinion would've mattered anyway."

The fact that there were only two candidates on the ballot does provide an insight into the minds of citizens who do not vote because they are unsatisfied with the choices, or believe that their voice does not count.

Disagreeing with Goedirt is Kevin Szostak, who believes that people should still vote if the candidate of their choice is not on the ballot "because we don't always get what we want. if they didn't vote, then they loose the right to complain about the outcome. Vote for the best cantidate."

Coghill's lesson is summed up like this:

Voting for our government representatives is not just a civic duty that has been unsuccessfully indoctrinated into the population. Voting is the most powerful voice that the people have, and surrendering that on the basis of ignorance, or dissatisfaction with candidates only results in the surrending of the basic rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

Coghill has sought to instill in his students and allowing them to run the mock election so that they can see first hand a part of why the political atmosphere is what it is today.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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