Students stand up to vote
By Danielle Abbott, BHG News Service
Voting is usually one of the benefits granted to 18-year-olds as they transition into adulthood. The ability to support a specific candidate and their views, and make your input known is one of the most mature and responsible actions that an adult can make. But recently, voting has been extended to students in the Underwood Elementary and High Schools. Though they did not hit the voting booths on Nov. 4, they did get to select a candidate and vocalize their support. Underwood was one of 38 North Dakota schools to participate in a mock election, organized by the Missouri River Educational Cooperative. The voting took place through Oct. 17. Students in grades three through 12 were able to vote on issues including the presidential race, governor, state representative, insurance commissioner and Measure 1. "Prior to the election, we spent a considerable amount of time discussing the two political parties and our current economic state locally, statewide and nationally," said Underwood Teacher Toni Cottingham, who administered the test to grades eight, nine and 12. "The students were very interested in learning about how government elected officials effect decision making and law-making." A total of 2,546 students, including 124 from Underwood took part in the election, and those that participated took it very seriously. Overall, John McCain won for the presidential election with 1,406 votes, while Barack Obama was the runner up with a total of 990 votes. Bob Barr received 86 votes and Ralph Nader received 64. The Underwood students gave 62 votes to McCain and 58 votes to Obama.