Secretary of State
College Students Make Their Choices for President and U.S. Senate, Hundreds Register to Vote
(Frankfort, KY) If the election were held today, Kentucky college students would choose to split their ballot and elect the Democratic Obama/Biden Ticket for President of the United States and re-elect Senator Mitch McConnell. The election was sponsored by the Office of Secretary of State Trey Grayson as part of the Civic Literacy Initiative of Kentucky (CLIK) and Kentucky Civics Month.
“We were delighted that so many students took time out of their busy college schedules to participate in the mock election, register to vote, and learn more about absentee voting,” remarked Secretary Grayson. “We hope that this will begin a lifelong commitment to voting among these young people.”
The voter percentages for each race were as follows:
United States President:
John McCain/Sarah Palin (Republican) – 42.4%
Barack Obama/Joe Biden (Democrat) – 53.5%
Ralph Nader/Matt Gonzalez (Independent) – 1.6%
Chuck Baldwin/Robert Thornsberry (Constitution) – 0.3%
Bob Barr/Wayne Root (Libertarian) – 1.2%
Write-in – 1.0%
United States Senator
Mitch McConnell (R) – 50.2%
Bruce Lunsford (D) – 48.8%
Write-in – 1.0%
This is the second of three such mock elections. The first was held at the campuses of the Governor’s Scholars Program during July in which students voted for President of the United States. John McCain won the election by 2.5%. The final mock election is Kentucky Student Mock Election for elementary, middle, and high school students on October 30, 2008 as part of the National Student/Parent Mock Election. Teachers can still register for the mock election at www.sos.ky.gov/mockelection.
Twelve universities and colleges participated in the mock election tour: Bellarmine University (BU), Centre College (CC), Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), Kentucky State University (KSU), Morehead State University (MoSU), Murray State University (MuSU), Northern Kentucky University (NKU), Pikeville College (PC), Transylvania University (TU), the University of Kentucky (UK), the University of Louisville (UofL), and Western Kentucky University (WKU).
The Office of the Secretary of State partnered with the Student Government Associations on each campus to publicize the event. 2,188 students participated in the elections that began in mid-September and concluded on October 6, 2008. Obama/Biden won individual campus votes at BU, CC, KSU, MuSU, NKU, PC, UofL, and WKU. McCain/Palin won at EKU, MoSU, TU, and UK. Mitch McConnell won at EKU, MoSU, MuSU, TU, UK, UofL, and WKU, and Bruce Lunsford won at CC, KSU, NKU, and PC. McConnell and Lunsford tied at BC.
A staff member for the Office of the Secretary of State was on hand at each university to demonstrate one of the state’s common voting machines, help first time voters register, and answer questions about absentee voting.
“The general election falls on the heels of mid-terms and slightly before Thanksgiving break, and many young people may not be thinking about the voting process due to scholastic distractions,” stated Secretary of State Trey Grayson. “My hope is that in hosting mock elections, we will increase awareness of the elections and remind college-age students that their voices are important.”
Grayson directs the CLIK, a multi-year effort that will determine a strategy for enhancing long-term civic engagement and civic literacy within the Commonwealth. As part of that effort, he released a report, Rediscovering Democracy: An Agenda for Action, that calls upon the state to take tangible steps to increase civic literacy. The report, which details four principle recommendations and scores of additional recommendations, was developed from the work of the Kentucky Workgroup on Civic Literacy and the CLIK.
A focus of the report is increased technology in order to further engage students in the political process. Grayson’s office has an international award-winning website with increased online election services so that information is readily available for Kentucky citizens 24 hours-a-day/7 days-a-week. Grayson is also a pioneer in using popular mediums such as Facebook to make the political system more approachable to young people.
“By involving students in the democratic process, we wish to not only energize young people to vote, but to also remind their family and friends about the importance of voting on November 4, 2008,” said Secretary Grayson.
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