MOJO Students "Rock the Vote"

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA--Most of them aren't old enough to vote, but that isn't stopping students at Odessa Permian from choosing a president and preparing their classmates with a lesson on leadership.

"It's a mock election and our theme or our slogan is "Mojo Rocks the Vote, '08," MOJO Student Elections Administrator, Lauren Browning, said.

What started out as a project for a Senior Government class, turned in to a school wide event.   And, as Browning explained, it's all being run by students, "We have to just plan everything, make sure everything's going smoothly and tell the kids what to do, assign them to their jobs."

Permian High is making this election as much like the real thing as possible.  From the voting machines in the polling place to Democratic and Republican party headquarters.

The only candidates on the ballot will be for the presidency.   But the voting process mirrors the real thing pretty closely.

"They have to shows us their ID.  They check in, sign by their name and give us their thumb print. Then they go to the voting booth, fold the ballot and put it in the ballot box," Browning explained.

Although most of them won't be able to vote on November 4th, these kids know who they want to get elected and why.

David Gonzalez said, "I voted for Barack Obama because he'll be the first black president.  It'll make history."  While Browing is voting for the GOP, "I would vote for John McCain because his views are kind of the same as mine."

Considering they are only teenagers, some seemed to have a strong handle on things, like Timothy Aguirre, "If we have a black president and he graduated top of his class, from Harvard, then he's got smarts and he's a different type of leader."

Regardless of who they're voting for, these MOJO students agree it's important to get the facts, go out and rock the vote, "If you didn't vote then there's no reason for you to be upset about who got elected, because you didn't put your voice out there."

The "polls" for Permian's mock election will close at 4 o'clock Tuesday.  The students will compare their results to the national election, next week.