Douglas County youth showed up in large numbers and had their say for who they'd like to be president.
The majority of the 4,708 children and teens who participated in Kids Voting Douglas County voted for Barack Obama.
"He's nice and he wants to change America," said Hanan Gusau, second-grader at Cordley School. She was one of 3,252 students who also supported Obama. John McCain received 1,272 votes.
Kids Voting is an opportunity for students from pre-school to 12th grade to share their opinions and participate in the election process.
About 160 Lawrence High School students tallied votes once polls closed at 7 p.m. Students up to fourth grade voted for president while students up to eighth grade voted for president, congressional candidates, Kansas Senate candidates, Kansas House of Representative candidates and the three Lawrence sales tax questions.
"I was excited that I actually got to vote, not for real, but just, like, kids vote," said Jack Ziegler, a sixth-grader at Langston Hughes School. Langston Hughes did a schoolwide vote.
Ziegler voted for McCain because "he'd be a good president and I didn't really like Obama as much," he said.
As soon as school was out at Central Junior High School, Mitri McCawley, 14, eighth-grader, ran up to the school's auditorium stage to cast his vote for Obama. He also approved the two sales tax questions in support of the city's public transit system. It was his first time to participate in Kids Vote.
"I was pretty excited," he said.
Tracie Massey, manager of Roger Hill Volunteer Center, said there was an overwhelming response of young voter turnout in the morning beginning at 6:45 a.m.
The nearly 400 volunteers on hand was equally impressive, she said.
"It's been amazing and they've all been just wonderful," she said. "They call in at the end of their shifts and the numbers have been just higher than they've ever been."
Mike Wormsley, eighth-grade social studies teacher at Central Junior High School, said this is the first time he's seen such enthusiasm in the junior high about an election.
"This election seems to have these guys more excited than I've seen junior high kids get excited in an election," he said. "They're very much excited about the candidacy issues. I think it's really great they are getting the opportunity to vote in a manner very much like the adults in their lives so they are really getting a feel for what's going on."
Wormsley and some parents said the sooner youth are exposed to the voting process, the more likely it is they'll participate when they are of age.
"It's really good; it will get them used to the idea," said Nafisa Gusau, a Kansas University student from Africa. She was with Hanan while she voted at Cordley School. "I think this generation will be better than the ones we have because they are actually teaching them to vote for their rights. I can't vote because : I'm not a citizen, so I'm glad that she can and her dad can."
The Lawrence Journal-World, Roger Hill Volunteer Center, Lawrence, Eudora and Baldwin public school districts sponsored the ninth annual Kids Voting Douglas County.
Kids Voting Douglas County Results
PresidentBarack Obama and Joe Biden (D): 3,252John McCain and Sarah Palin (R): 1,272
United States SenateJim Slattery (D) : 1,111Pat Roberts (R): 708
U.S. House of Representatives 2nd DistrictNancy Boyda (D): 496Lynn Jenkins (R): 286
U.S. House of Representatives 3rd DistrictDennis Moore (D): 545Nick Jordan (R): 145
Kansas Senate 2nd DistrictMarci Francisco (D): 666Scott Morgan (R): 453
Kansas Senate 19th DistrictAnthony Hensley (D): 97Shari Weber (R): 70
Kansas Senate 3rd DistrictTom Holland (D): 265Roger C. Pine (R): 182
10th District State RepresentativeTony Brown (D): 187John Coen (R): 105
38th District State RepresentativeStephanie Kelton (D): 119Anthony R. Brown (R): 105
45th District State RepresentativeJohn C. Wilson (D): 138Tom Sloan (R) 184
53rd District State RepresentativeAnn E. Mah (D) 87Cecil T. Washington, Jr. (R): 54
59th District State RepresentativeJim Irey (D): 82William R. Prescott (R): 53
4th District-State Board of EducationCarolyn C. Campbell (D): 174Robert Meissner (R): 74
2nd District County CommissionerNancy Thellman (D): 131David L. Brown (R): 63
3rd District County CommissionerKen Grotewiel (D): 146James E. Flory (R): 82