Ballot box NDN

When Norfolk High School senior Cash Luhr learned he failed to meet the voter registration age requirement by mere days, he was extremely disappointed. 

Rather than remain discouraged, however, Luhr organized a mock election with the help of the Norfolk Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Chapter.

"I wanted all students to have the opportunity to participate in the election regardless of age," Luhr said.

On Monday, 683 Norfolk High School students cast digital sample ballots in the mock election, voting for presidential, Senate and House candidates.

President Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, and Vice President Mike Pence received 382 votes, while Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris received 233 votes, with other students voting for third party and independent candidates.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse won the U.S. Senate ticket, receiving nearly two times more votes than all other candidates combined. Republican Rep. Jeff Fortenberry won the congressional ticket by receiving approximately two-thirds of all student votes.

The impacts of the mock election, however, extended beyond the statistical data, Luhr said.

"Past generations understood that our democracy could not flourish without voter participation. The mock election (was) a prime opportunity to instill this civic value in students — to ensure this generation makes its voice heard."

The mock election, FBLA adviser Mike Sunderman said, enabled students to experience democracy in action. "It is essential that students understand the importance of voting and take full advantage of the free, fair election system. This mock election (allowed) young people to understand that importance, and I hope it continues in the future."

In other news

HOWELLS — A basketball game broke out in the second half of a game between a couple of football powers here Thursday night with Howells-Dodge eventually outmuscling Pierce 54-42 in both teams' first game on the hardwood this season.

With only one returning starter in senior Erin Schwanebeck and just two more letter winners — senior Amber Schwanebeck and junior Tessa Gall — back, the Norfolk High girls basketball team is having its own version of a talent search tryout.