This year, the office of the Secretary of State conducted a mock election among school students across the state.
Nearly 11,000 high school students voted on some of the same real ballot measures that registered voters faced Tuesday.
Among high school students, Initiative 1125 (Tim Eyman's initiative on transportation) failed by 54 percent of the "votes."
Initiative 1163 (training requirements for nursing home workers) passed by 53 percent.
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And Initiative 1183 (closing state liquor stores, aka "the Costco initiative") failed by more than 60 percent.
We think these numbers tell an interesting tale.
First off, kudos to Secretary Sam Reed and his staff for putting together a mock election. It helps interest kids in the democratic process and gives them a useful experience.
We hope this trial run translates into more and better informed voters in the future.
Second, thanks to the teachers who incorporated the "election" in their curriculum.
Kids can vote in the mock election on their own, but it's certain that more get involved because of the classroom discussion.
It's very interesting to us to note that of the almost 11,000 "voters" statewide, only 155 of them came from Benton County and 77 came from Franklin County.
Clearly the activity hasn't caught on in this corner of the state -- yet.
Maybe next year.
Third, we're interested to see how the kids' votes compare with their registered voting counterparts.
Informed voting is one way to produce conscientious citizens.