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The Madison Record

Romney wins James Clemens election

(Anna Durrett) Juniors Kareem Belhadj and Caleb Besaw don Barack Obama and Mitt Romney masks, respectively, during the mock election at James Clemens High School.

James Clemens and Bob Jones took part in a national mock presidential election.

A group of 133 high schools in all 50 states participated this week in a project by Voting Opportunities for Teenagers in Every State.

The Republican ticket with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan won James Clemens with 57 percent of the vote. Forty-nine percent of the students voted in the mock election.

Junior Kareem Belhadj was displeased with voter turnout. “There’s a lot of passive people at this school,” he said.

“I voted for Mitt Romney,” said junior Caleb Besaw. “People around the school know me as the kid that’s always talking about politics.”

Besaw is too young to vote in this election, but he hopes Romney will take the White House. “I’m optimistic that Mitt Romney will win, but I think it will be a close race.”

Belhadj voted for Barack Obama. “I think Obama has to do a better job, and Romney better do a good job,” Belhadj said regarding the scenarios of either candidate winning.

“May the best man win,” Belhadj said.

He thinks the Electoral College and the popular vote may not line up in the real election.

“The Electoral College represents our mark on democracy. … It’s part of our country and it shows who we are,” Belhadj said. “Then again it’s not that fair.”

Belhadj and Besaw are part of the Young Politicians Club at James Clemens. The two wore Barack Obama and Mitt Romney masks, respectively, during the mock election.

Social studies teacher Patrice O’Donnell sponsors the organization.

O’Donnell said the club of about 20 students were very excited about the mock election. “The whole club is working on it,” O’Donnell said. “It’s our first event.”

John McCain won Alabama in the VOTES mock election last year, however it was Obama who won VOTES for the country.

She predicted the win for Romney at James Clemens, but she isn’t calling the real election. “I think it’s going to come down to the wire,” O’Donnell said.

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