Kids Voting Mesa County sees record high voter turnout for youngsters, too
The 2012 Presidential Election was a close one for both registered voters and for Kids Voting Mesa County (KVMC).
KVMC, a private non-profit organization, encourages young people to become informed voters by educating and engaging students and their families in voting and other forms of civic participation.
This year, KVMC saw a record high voter turnout with 17,061 K-12 students voting.
“In the five presidential elections we’ve been involved with over the last 16 years, this one had the highest turnout,” said Martha Graf, Executive Director of KVMC.
Graf credits the high voter turnout to teachers.
“We know for a fact that at the high school level, teachers in different subject areas participated. That was key in getting so many high school students involved. We had more than 50 percent of high-schoolers’ vote, which is the highest we’ve had there as well,” Graf said.
The elementary school voter turnout (grades K-5) was 89.9 percent; the middle school voter turnout (grade 6-8) was 85.69 percent; and the high school voter turnout (grades 9-12) was 54.46 percent.
Both School District 50 and School District 51 participated in the event this year along with alternative schooling offered in the area.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan won the Presidential and Vice Presidential position with a 52.67 percent majority voted on by all students. President Barack Obama received 42.75 percent of the votes. Tisha Casida won the Congressional District 3 position by a 37.47 percent majority voted on by grades 6-12. Ray Scott received 42.52 percent of the votes from grade 3-12 students for the House District 55 position.
When K-5 students voted on whether or not public school students should be required to wear school uniforms, 6,187 voted against the issue. Students grade 9-12 voted yes to a maximum amount of money that each candidate is allowed to spend on his/her campaign with a 4,310-majority vote.
Grade 3-12 students also voted yes with a 225 majority on “Shall taxes on people’s property (land, house or business) in Plateau Valley School District 50 be increased for a total of $350,000 each year?”
Although the votes in the KVMC election don’t count just yet, years down the road, these students will understand how important it is to be well informed about issues and candidates on the ballot.
“Our teachers deliver nonpartisan lessons to the students,” Graf said. “The number one thing is that we want students to become informed before they vote.”