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Kids Learn About Voting, Waiting Dole Narrowly Wins In Kootenai County

Bob Dole won after all.

The Republican presidential candidate came out ahead by 23 votes in Kootenai County’s Kids Voting project.

Organizers had hoped to have results from the mock election available immediately after last Tuesday’s election. But computer problems delayed a final tally, according to executive director Paula Davis.

“People are really eager to know the results, they’re disappointed that they don’t know,” she said Monday. “But I didn’t have one cranky person who was mad.”

Kids Voting is a national project aimed at getting kids and their parents involved in the election process. Students from kindergarten through 12th grade voted in the same precincts as their parents.

Post Falls second grader Scott Lougheed will be delighted to learn the results of the Kids Voting presidential vote.

He stayed up until 9:30 on election night, coloring a map of the country. When a state’s voters went for Dole, he painted it blue; for Clinton, red.

“He was very disappointed when Dole didn’t win,” said his mother, Lori Lougheed. “But that’s part of the learning process. He voted for Larry Craig, so that turned out well for him.”

Both Dole and Sen. Craig won in the Kids Voting election. The results in the major races were:

President: Republican Bob Dole, with 42 percent of the vote over Democrat Bill Clinton, 41 percent, Ross Perot of the Reform Party, 13 percent, Libertarian Harry Brown, 1 percent, and Howard Phillips of U.S. Taxpayers, 1 percent.

U.S. Senate: Republican Larry Craig, 45 percent, over Democrat Walt Minnick, 43 percent; Independent Mary Charbonneau, 5 percent; and Natural Law candidate Susan Vegors, 5 percent.

U.S. House of Representatives: Democrat Dan Williams, 48 percent, over Republican Helen Chenoweth, 45 percent; and Natural Law candidate Marion Ellis, 6 percent.

Students tended to vote Republican in state and local races. Also like their parents, they defeated the One Percent tax limitation initiative, the nuclear waste initiative and the congressional term limits initiative.

Unlike the grown-ups, they approved a ban on the use of dogs and bait by bear hunters.

Coeur d’Alene students voted to ban hydroplane races.

Today, Davis hopes to deliver school-by-school breakdowns of the results. She cautioned that the results aren’t extremely accurate, because in many cases the children didn’t follow directions or made stray marks on the ballots.

The tallying delay stemmed from a lack of the proper computer software to scan the paper ballots, a problem no one anticipated. Davis complimented the “tireless” efforts of North Idaho College computer services staffers Carl Lovick and Steve Ruppel.

Up to 500 volunteers helped staff the Kids Voting polling places. This was the first general election in which Kootenai County schools were involved.

, DataTimes

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