Students and faculty members at Grand County High School gave former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney a resounding victory over President Barack Obama during a mock election held Tuesday at the school commons.
Romney garnered 59.9 percent of the vote for president with Obama getting 32.8 percent. The remainder was split among Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and other candidates.
Voting booths set up in the school commons were busy throughout the morning as teenagers experienced the satisfaction of participating in politics, even if the tallies were unofficial. Personnel from the Grand County Clerk’s office processed the ballots.
A red, white and blue poster on the wall indicated the event’s seriousness. It read, “It’s a power thing – vote!”
James Martin, an 18-year-old senior, has already cast his ballot in this fall’s general election. Martin took advantage of early voting in Utah and will serve as a poll judge on Nov. 6. He applied for the poll position through his government class, taught by Ron Dolphin.
“I think it’s important to get involved,” said Martin, who plans to enlist in the U.S. Navy after graduation.
He said it felt “weird” to vote as an adult for the first time because he had expected only to cast a ballot for president rather than many other offices.
“There are a few people in my government class who’ve already voted,” Amanda Sheets, 17, said of the general election. “A lot of us really care.”
Donna Snow, a student who helped organize the mock election, said going through the voting process encouraged teens to study the issues.
“Because of the mock election you’re more aware of what’s going on,” she said.
Reyce Knutson, 16, agreed with Snow.
“It gives us students a chance to see who’s running, all the candidates from our state,” he said. “You want to know who you’re voting for.”