PA Participates in Mock Election

Barack Obama won a landslide victory in a nationwide mock election project that Phillips Academy students participated in, called Voting Opportunities for Teenagers in Every State (V.O.T.E.S.). Results showed that the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, received 69 percent of the ballots. Republican nominee John McCain came in second with 23.8 percent. Final results from all across the nation will be announced just days before the general election. The Head of History Department, Peter Drench, said, “If we pretend each [of the 53 history] sections is a state, since there are 50 states plus D.C., and if the election followed this pattern, this would be a landslide victory in the Electoral College for Obama.” “Of course, anyone in the right mind wouldn’t expect that result,” said Drench. “If each history section were precincts or ‘states,’ Obama received 69.1 percent of the ballots and carried 88.7 percent of the 53 ‘states,’” he said. “McCain received 23.8 percent of the ballots and carried 1.9 percent of the 53 ‘states,’” said Drench. “9.4 percent of the states produced a tie between Obama and McCain.” Drench also pointed out that students taking Economics classes tended to be more conservative. Drench said, “Of the 5 Econ. classes, Obama received 64.9 percent of the ballots, followed by McCain with 24.3 percent and 5.4 percent for Bob Barr [the Libertarian presidential nominee].” He said, “Although McCain didn’t receive a higher percentage of ballots, Obama’s percentage fell by roughly five percent, and that indicates the tendency for students taking Economics to be more conservative.” Bob Barr, a Libertarian presidential nominee, and Cynthia McKinney, a Green party presidential nominee, tied third by receiving 2.3 percent of the ballots each. Ralph Nader, presidential nominee for the Independent party, closely followed behind by receiving 2.2 percent of the ballots. Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution party received 1 percent of the ballots. Two write in candidates, Colin Powell and Ron Paul, both received .1 percent of the ballots, tying for last place. V.O.T.E.S. is a nationwide mock election project for high school students. A total of 679 students in 53 of out of 55 history sections participated in V.O.T.E.S. This is equivalent to 63 percent of the student body and 92 percent of the students taking history. A total of 693 votes were casted including the 14 students who voted twice because they took two history classes. V.O.T.E.S. includes teen voters from at least one public and one independent school in each state. Over 50,000 teens cast a ballot in each V.O.T.E.S. election. V.O.T.E.S. was founded in 1988 by history teachers Jim Shea and Lorrie Byrom from Northfield Mount Hermon School.