The votes are in! Students in the USA chose President Barack Obama as the winner of the upcoming presidential election in a mock vote held by Scholastic, one of the largest publishers of children’s books and magazines in America. Elliott Rebhun, editor and publisher of Scholastic’s Social Studies Classroom Magazines, said in an interview with CNN, “Students made their voices heard once again, and it proved to be a tight race”. Scholastic has been conducting mock US presidential elections since 1940, and this year Obama, the Democratic nominee, received 51 percent of the vote, while former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, received 45 percent. Four percent of students also cast votes for other candidates, such as their mothers and fathers, Republicans John McCain and Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Scholastic invited people under the age of 18 to cast a vote for the president by voting on the organisation’s website or mailing in a paper ballot that students could find in one of its classroom magazines. Almost 250,000 students throughout the USA in elementary through high school participated in the Scholastic Student Vote, which took place from 15 August until the online poll closed on 10 October. A majority of students who live in swing states critical in the election, such as Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Ohio, chose Obama, while Romney won Virginia by a slim margin in the mock election. The results of Scholastic’s mock elections have reflected the correct outcome in all but two presidential races. Students voted for Thomas E Dewey, who lost the election to Harry S Truman in 1948, and they chose Richard Nixon, who lost to John F Kennedy in 1960. Rebhun said, “The Scholastic Student Vote shows us that students are engaged and excited about the election, and provided classroom teachers with a tool to bring current events to life and teach students about our country’s democratic process”.
18 October 2012 (MSK)