Students elect Bush—like nation?

Students elect Bush—like nation?

By With the efforts of The League of Women Voters, elementary, middle and high schools in Rockford and throughout Illinois participated in a mock election Thursday.

By Shellie Berg

Staff Reporter


George W. Bush raked in the most votes in both Rockford and throughout Illinois. In Rockford, he beat Al Gore by 297 votes. The total was Bush, 5,046, and Gore, 4,749.

In Illinois, students in 390 schools voted. George Bush brought in 54,539; Al Gore received 49,057; Green Party candidate Ralph Nader had 3,976; Pat Buchanan received 1,171; and Libertarian candidate Harry Browne took in 1,088.

“I think we just had wonderful success,” Elsie Janson, voter’s service co-chair, said.

Jeanne Claeys, voter’s service co-chair, noted the event was significant for young people. “We’re trying to educate them early about the importance of voting; of becoming a citizen,” Claeys stated. “We feel the earlier they get involved, the more likely they are to become a lifelong voter. Usually, the response is the students get quite enthusiastic about it.”

Teachers across the state received a curriculum from the league of suggested activities for students. “We encourage that they have some advanced preparation curriculum lesson plans, so they’re not voting blindly,” Claeys said.

Mary Lang, who teaches 8th grade American history at Belvidere Junior High School, put together a packet for her students on characteristics that make a good president. She also noted the packet explains “the different hats the president wears. We had a couple of articles on the background on each of the candidates—the two major candidates.”

Lang also acquired a portable booth for students to see what one looks like when actually voting. “All of our activities will culminate with the actual election,” she stated. Lang believes the mock election and the activities allowed students to learn about government. “Otherwise, how do they ever learn to appreciate democracy?” she remarked. “They have to begin to learn somewhere what it means to be a citizen.”

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!