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Future Voters Cast Their Ballots Today

Article by Robert Asahina February 1, 2013 //   2 minute read

The Bush Institute, in partnership with the St. Mark's School of Texas and the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance, sponsored a national economics debate for high-school students last month. But we're not alone in promoting civic engagement for America's young people.

VOTES (Voting Opportunities for Teenagers in Every States), a nationwide mock election project for high-school students begun 24 years ago by two teachers from Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts, "teaches the significance and the excitement of the democratic process" to "teenagers, nearly all of whom will be voters in the election of 2016."

VOTES recently announced the results of its poll of more than 54,000 high-school students from more than 130 schools across the nation:

Barack Obama received 316 electoral votes and Republican challenger Mitt Romney received 208. Obama received 50.2% of the popular vote (27,107), and Romney earned 41.2% (22,252).

The VOTES election has correctly predicted five of the last six presidential elections, according to the Huffington Post. But "the purpose is not to predict the outcome and guess who's going to win," one of the cofounders, Jim Shea, told the Denver Post. "It's really educational to generate interest within each of the schools, to let them feel bigger than their own popular vote in a mock election."