More than a thousand students from a dozen Humboldt County schools participated in a statewide student mock election, and the local voters of tomorrow preferred President Barack Obama to Republican challenger Mitt Romney by a landslide. Obama earned 58.1 percent of the vote (673 of 1,159) among participating students from local elementary, middle and high schools. Romney, by comparison, garnered just 20.2 percent of the vote.
(The only local school to prefer Romney was Ferndale Elementary.)
Statewide the results leaned even farther left: Obama 69.3 percent, Romney 23.5 percent.
A press release from the Secretary of State's Office describes the mock election as "a hands-on civic engagement project that helps cultivate the voters of tomorrow." Teachers were given resources and materials to make Election Day a "teachable moment," the release states.
What and who else did local students vote for?
Dianne Feinstein, for one. The incumbent U.S. Senator earned 61.2 percent of the vote, with Republican challenger Elizabeth Emken getting the other 38.8 percent. Statewide it was Feinstein 65.6 percent, Emken 34.4 percent.
We also tallied local students' votes on a few ballot propositions and compared them with the statewide results. Likely the most significant ones for the students personally are propositions 30 and 38, the dueling tax-increase measures aimed at boosting education funding. Humboldt students liked them both but preferred 30, with 74.7 percent voting "yes" compared to Prop. 38's 61.5 percent approval.
Statewide results were similar, with both measures passing but Prop. 30 faring better. It earned 65.3 percent support compared to Prop. 38's 55.9 percent.
On the issue of labeling genetically engineered food, local students were all about it. More than 70 percent mock-voted in favor of Prop 37. Statewide the measure earned 63.6 percent support, which is better than recent polling suggests it will do among adults.
How about the death penalty, you ask? Just over half of the local students (53.6 percent) voted not to repeal it. Statewide the issue was a real squeaker, with 49.84 percent supporting a ban on the death penalty and 50.16 voting to keep it in place.
The complete, school-by-school results for the county can be viewed here.