Kids Voting program shows Bush as presidential winner

Kids Voting program shows Bush as presidential winner Vermillion students in grades K-12 participated in the 2000 election on Nov. 7 through a program called Kids Voting.

After the students studied the political process in the classroom using the Kids Voting curriculum, they voted on election day with their parents at the official polling places in their own booths.

This was the first time Kids Voting took place in Vermillion. It was a success, according to coordinator Lisa Vik, who said voter turnout for grades K-12 was 33 percent.

For president, George W. Bush was the winner with 293 votes. Al Gore followed at 224, with Browne and Pat Buchanan receiving four and three votes, respectively.

John Thune was the winner of the U.S. House seat with 342 votes. Curt Hohn earned 120 votes, followed by Brian Lerohl with 26.

Arnie Laubach won the Public Utilities Commissioner race with 21 votes, compared to Laska Schoenfelder's 16.

Constitutional amendment results were: A � 34 yes, 38 no; B � 37 yes, 33 no; C � 43 yes, 32 no; D � 68 yes, 126 no; E � 62 yes, 67 no. Initiated Measure 1 received 17 yes votes and 48 no votes.

Joe Reedy was the winner of the District 17 State Senate race with 17 votes. Contender Donna Schafer earned 15 votes.

In the District 17 State House race, Judy Clark and B.J. Nesselhuf tied with 14 votes each. Maxine Johnson had 12 votes, followed by H. Junior Engbrecht with nine and Jason Eisenmenger with two.

Tami Bern was re-elected as Clay County State's Attorney, earning 20 votes versus Creighton Thurman's 10.

Clay County Commissioners are Thomas Vogel, 17, Mary E. Jensen, 16, and Heath Nelson, 14. The other candidates and their votes were Ralph Westergaard, 13, Dick Brown, 11, and Willliam Willroth Sr., 10.

Kids Voting gives students the opportunity to experience voting after studying the issues. A national survey recently reported that one of the reasons 18 to 24-year-olds do not vote is they are unfamiliar with the polling places and feel uncomfortable with the process of voting. This project removes fear of voting.

Research also shows that Kids Voting increases adult voter participation by 3 to 5 percent because the students involve their parents in the election process.

Kids Voting South Dakota is a private, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to building a more informed generation of voters. Kids Voting started in Arizona in 1988 and has spread to 39 states. The program began in South Dakota and this year approximately 75,000 South Dakota students will participate.

Major sponsors of Kids Voting South Dakota are the Chiesman Foundation For Democracy and Wells Fargo Banks of SD. The Farber Center is the local sponsor.

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