For one school campus, the June elections came a bit early.
As part of its Youth Vote, Antioch High held its yearly mock balloting, submerging students into the democratic progress.
All 2,000 students had the opportunity to participate via social science classes.
Cathy Fitzgerald, coordinator and teacher, said despite all the hard work that goes into this event, it's well worth it.
A passionate promoter of voting, Fitzgerald was pleased with the turnout and students' enthusiasm.
Results were: In the presidential race, students on the Democratic ballot voted for Barack Obama (97 percent.) Students voting Republican gave Mitt Romney the edge with 35 percent. Ron Paul received 24 percent. On the ballot measures: 28 passed with 67 percent; 29 passed with 74 percent; and Measure J with 83 percent. Measures L and M were defeated with 57 percent no and 64 percent no respectively.
"My government students were concerned with losing the right to choose/vote with L and M," Fitzgerald said.
Plenty goes into this school Youth Vote day.
Leading up to it, students get instruction in social science classes, with teachers using the official information guide and/or the Easy Voter Guide provided by the Secretary of State's office. "Students had time to ask questions and discuss, and had a sample ballot to mark and bring with them to our polling station (Beede Auditorium's foyer)," Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald said the day was exhausting but exhilarating. "I overheard students asking the right questions ... coaxing and urging each other to voter thoughtfully. It was the best."
Fitzgerald has headed this event 20-some times with passion.
"I always thought it needed to be done given the low voter turnout numbers for young people. It is part of the Responsible Citizen Panther Profile component that we want of all students. I told the students if they could turn around those numbers, politicians would be falling all over each other trying to schedule opportunities to talk to teens."
Fitzgerald's biggest goal, of course, is to get the students involved. "I hope they know that participation matters. It beats sitting on the sidelines and watching. Democracy only works with a well-informed electorate, and I'm doing my part to make that happen."
While this was practice for most of students, many will actually get to vote in the upcoming election.
AHS has been doling out registration materials throughout the year.
"My students get their voter registration form from me as their 18th birthday card, (including a) pocket constitution for their gift and an American flag."