This year, thousands of area students will cast a ballot for the first time, and excitement is already building in local classrooms. Students say the potential to take part in a possibly historic election has them geared up to vote. Many students NewsChannel 11 spoke with at Monterey High School told us they're Republicans, but news about Clinton and Obama stopping in Lubbock still has them excited.
"The kids have really been drawn into it," Monterey High School Government Teacher Garrett Luft said. The 2008 Presidential Election has put new life into the class.
"It's going to be so cool to be part of a historical election," MHS Senior Desi Toupin said. "Especially because it's our first year to vote," said MHS Senior Kristi Clanton. "We need to get out there and need to get our votes counted," MHS Senior Andrew Ritchey said.
"Texas didn't look like it would matter at all, and now we've gotten to a point where clearly we're going to have a big impact on the Democratic Primary," Luft said. "Bill Clinton is coming, which is maybe even more exciting because he's an actual former President," Luft told his class Friday.
The excitment grew with news that two Presidential Campaigns plan to stop in Lubbock. "I didn't think that Lubbock would be a big enough deal," Ritchey said. "I am trying so hard to be able to go see Barack Obama," said Toupin.
"Well, I know most of us probably aren't as interested in those guys as maybe some of the other Republican candidates, but regardless, how often do you get a chance to see the person face to face," Luft told his class Friday.
"Of course, I'm a Republican and I'm kind of leaning toward John McCain," Clanton said. "I think it would be really interesting to go and hear what they have to say, because I think it's important to be open to different political views," added MHS Senior Addison Morris.
"Our text book always talks about how the young vote is really low and turn out is terrible for young voters. The number ought to change this time around," Luft said.
"I think the campaign has got me more into it," Ritchey said. "It's kind of a milestone in American History," added Toupin. "That's a neat thing to say when you're just a first time voter at the age of 18," said Luft.
Luft says the election has also turned into a great learning tool for all students, even those who can't vote. Though the youth vote is historically low, students we spoke with say they will definitely cast their ballot in November.
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