The kids did just what the adults did Tuesday. They picked Bill Clinton as their president.
Lawrence school children, casting ballots in the Kids Voting program, gave Clinton a victory over President George Bush and independent candidate Ross Perot.
Clinton's final total from the youthful voters was 1,877 votes to Bush's 1,332 and Perot's 1,330. Libertarian candidate Andre Marrou got 16 votes.
According to Ruthi Rapp, social studies coordinator for the Lawrence school district, about 65 percent of the estimated 7,000 local students eligible to participate in the program voted.
At the Kids Voting Kansas election-night headquarters in Lawrence High School's cafeteria, members of LHS's Alliance for Social Awareness, a student group, manned a tally board while scouts in Den 3 of Cub Scout Pack 3052 earned points toward their citizenship badges working as ballot runners.
LAWRENCE public school students in grades kindergarten through 12 cast ballots as part of an 11-state pilot program aimed at instilling good voting habits in young people.
Participating schools were Lawrence High School, Lawrence Alternative High School, all three junior highs, and 10 elementary schools: Broken Arrow, Centennial, Cordley, Deerfield, Grant, Hillcrest, New York, Quail Run, Schwegler and Woodlawn.
Hemant Bhana, a Lawrence High senior and student organizer of the local Kids Voting program, said volunteers expected about 50 people to show up at LHS for election-night returns. Instead, some 200 appeared to watch televised reports of the general election, receive updated tallies on the Kids Voting board, which was finalized about 9 p.m., and eat donated pizza from Pizza Hut.
IN ADDITION to Clinton, students also backed Bob Dole for the U.S. Senate seat; Jim Slattery for the U.S. House 2nd District; Tom Love for the U.S. House 3rd District; Sandy Praeger in the Kansas Senate 2nd District; and Anthony Hensley in the Kansas Senate 19th District.
In Kansas House races, the student voters favored Tonia Salvini in the 10th District; Brian Kubota in the 44th District; Bob Skahan in the Kansas House Betty Jo Charlton in the 46th District; and Kaye Messer in the 47th District.
Only students in grades nine through 12 voted on retention of judges and constitutional questions in the Kids Voting program.
Their ballots for Douglas County District Judges Ralph M. King Jr., Division 1, tallied 413 yes and 125 no; for James W. Paddock, Division 2, 412 yes and 132 no; and Michael J. Malone, Division 4, 446 yes and 126.
VOTES FOR retaining Bob Abbott, Junction City, on the Kansas Supreme Court numbered 411 for and 104 against. On the Kansas Court of Appeals, J. Patrick Brazil, Eureka, received 367 voters for retention and 133 against; G. Joseph Pierron, Olathe, had 372 votes for and 98 against; and Robert E. Davis of Leavenworth had 387 for and 105 against.
On the constitutional issues, 357 students voted for passage of the property classification amendment and 197 voted against; on the victims rights amendment, 423 votes for passage and 88 voted against.
In addition to Lawrence, five other Kansas communities participated in the program: Ulysses, Newton, Maize, Junction City and Winfield. In Lawrence, the Journal-World was the primary sponsor.
To help their students make informed choices at the polls, Lawrence teachers used a special Kids Voting curriculum. Students also participated in a mock voter registration.
STUDENTS were allowed to vote from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., mostly at regular local polling places, and ideally voting at the same time as their parents.
The student ballots were handled at separate booths supervised by volunteers. The Kids Voting ballots were tabulated and analyzed separately from the actual registered voters' ballots.
Lanaea Heine, coordinator of the Roger Hill Volunteer Center, which helped recruit Kids Voting poll workers and other volunteers for the program, said the community's response "was phenomenal."
"Each precinct represents at least six volunteers, so all totaled 400 people worked just at polling places," she said. "It's an amazing response."