SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Ed Featherston, Kevin Benedict, Adrian Bridgwater

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Nationwide High School Students Choose Obama for 2012 Presidential Election

MOUNT HERMON, MA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/04/12 -- High school students across the country took to the polls this month and chose President Barack Obama to serve another term as President of the United States in a nationwide mock election.

More than 54,000 students from more than 130 schools across the United States -- at least two from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia -- participated in this year's VOTES Project (Voting Opportunities for Teenagers in Every State), one of the nation's largest mock elections, (http://votes2012.org) began in 1988 by teachers at Northfield Mount Hermon School. High school students across the country campaigned on behalf of President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney -- as well as third-party candidates -- holding rallies, debates and other campaign events leading up to tonight's announcement of the winner.

Barack Obama received 316 electoral votes and Republican challenger Mitt Romney received 208. Obama received 50.2% of the popular vote (27,107), and Romney earned 41.2% (22,252).

The final tally took place at the 2012 VOTES Election Central gala in James Gym on the NMH campus. The NMH Singers and Jazz Band provided campaign music, and students acted as television moderators, conducting interviews and reporting electoral results by fixing either a blue or a red pin to a map of the United States.

Due to Hurricane Sandy, a total of five schools in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania were unable to hold mock elections, meaning 14 electoral votes were not distributed.

Northfield Mount Hermon teachers Jim Shea and Lorrie Byrom started the VOTES Project in 1988 and its teenage voters have correctly picked the winner in every presidential election except one: 2004, when incumbent President George W. Bush beat Sen. John Kerry. Organizers believe the results have been so accurate because high school students tend to reflect their parents' political leanings.

"The VOTES Project has proven to be a remarkably effective and fun way of teaching our high school students about the electoral process in the United States," said VOTES co-creator Shea. "The hands-on mock election experience allows teenagers to be active participants in learning and political process rather than merely passive observers. What better way is there to teach them to be thoughtful, engaged, and informed citizens in the future?"

For teenagers, nearly all of whom will be voters in the election of 2016, VOTES teaches the significance and the excitement of the democratic process.

About Northfield Mount Hermon
Northfield Mount Hermon, commonly referred to as NMH, is a co-educational independent boarding school for students in grades 9-12 and postgraduate. The school is located on the banks of the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts near Gill, Massachusetts. NMH was founded in 1879. The school provides "education of the head, the heart, and the hand." Our mission is to engage the intellect, compassion, and talents of our students, empowering them to act with humanity and purpose. The school enrolls 650 students who come from more than 45 states and 35 countries. NMH is a member of the Eight Schools Association, which comprises Phillips Academy (known as Andover), Phillips Exeter Academy, Choate Rosemary Hall, Deerfield Academy, Hotchkiss School, Lawrenceville School, and St. Paul's School.

Please contact:
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