Mock election gets high school students voting

Bianca Rae, KESQ News Channel 3 Reporter, brae@kesq.com
POSTED: 03:40 PM PDT Oct 30, 2012    UPDATED: 05:20 PM PDT Oct 30, 2012 
INDIO, Calif. -

They may not be able to vote next Tuesday, but Indio High School students had a say at their school's mock election.
 
"There are so many kids in our community who didn't feel they were in touch with what is going on, didn't understand some of the process of electing a president," U.S. History teacher Lisa Nava said.

One of thirteen hundred schools participating in the statewide MyVote California Student Mock Election, students learned first-hand everything they need to know.

"We wanted them to understand the waiting in line, showing ID, having everything ready to go when you sit down at the voting poll," Nava said.

"As a U.S. history teacher, some of the most important things we teach is the Civil Rights Movement right to vote, the Women's Suffrage Movement right to vote. These people actually fought and died for their right to vote. For kids to actually understand what that meant, that is so important," U.S History teacher Martin White said.

Before students voted, teachers prepped them on how to read the voters registration guide, how to research propositions, and they even had to watch the debates for homework.

"I think there are kids that don't really see the importance of it, but seeing that everyone else is doing it and putting valuable thoughts toward it, they're changing their opinions as well," Indio High School junior Maria Rodriguez said.

"In class, you learn that 18-25, the younger generation, usually don't vote because they feel like their votes don't matter, so usually what young people feel doesn't get voiced," Indio High School senior Jacquellyne White said.

The mock election tries to change that, urging youth to not only have an opinion, but to also make it count.

"We got to actually sit here and cast what we believe instead of what our parents believe," Jacquellyne White said.

"When they are old enough to vote in a couple years, hopefully more of them will be involved," Nava said.

Until then, a mock election will do to get them to the booths. Results will get tallied later this week.