Mock election not a joke

With historic ballots set for the upcoming November election, Northern Kentucky University is rolling the ball to get students involved before the polls open.

The College of Informatics is holding a mock election where students can cast their ballot for their candidate.

Mark Neikirk, director of the Scripps Howard Center, thought up the idea to get students involved in the upcoming election. He then spoke with Chris Brewer, director of Online Technology at the College of Informatics, who created the Web site.

The web site breaks down the results into numerous categories, such as grade, gender, race and party affiliation. It also lists the issues voters cited in determining their candidate. As of 8 p.m. Sept. 16, Barack Obama was claiming 61 percent of the vote to John McCain’s 35 percent.

Brewer guesses that this may be due to the age difference between the candidates and students may feel as if they have more things in common with Obama. He also stated that students are “inherently hopeful” and Obama is excellent at capturing the notion of hope. For those students who feel differently, the race is not over yet. The mock election’s polls will be open throughout the entire election season.

Obama’s supporters ranked the economy, the war in Iraq and health care as their three most important issues. McCain’s voters said the economy, national security and religious and moral beliefs influenced them the most.

Brewer said he hopes that the break down of these results will serve as “a way to get people talking about issues and sharing their thoughts.” He also hopes that it will encourage students to vote in the real election by putting them in the mindset of voting.

Brewer’s main goal for the online election is that it will not only raise awareness, but also encourage students to be actively involved in politics. “Voting is a direct method to influencing the future,” Brewer stated. “This is the first thing to impact students’ lives while in college. If there ever was a time for the youth of our country to make a difference, the time is now.”

The event is sponsored by Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement and Nonprofit Development, Get Pixeled, a student philanthropy project, and the College of Informatics.

To vote in the election, click here.

To voice your opinions of the upcoming elections in The Northerner‘s online forum, click here.