Journalism Class Publishes Online County Voting Guide

April 29, 2004

by Julie Campbell Carlson

Baylor University's class in Writing and Editing for Online Media has created a web site about the May 15 general elections for the cities and school boards in the non-Waco areas of McLennan County.

The guide includes quick facts, issues and polling locations and hours for elections in the City of Bellmead, City of Beverly Hills, Bruceville-Eddy ISD, City of Bruceville-Eddy, Connally ISD, City of Crawford, Crawford ISD, City of Hewitt, City of Lacy Lakeview, La Vega ISD, City of Lorena, Lorena ISD, City of Mart, Mart ISD, Moody ISD, City of Riesel, Riesel ISD, City of Robinson, Robinson ISD, City of West, West ISD, City of Woodway and state and national elections.

The site can be viewed at http://www.baylor.edu/Journalism/Elections04/Home.html

The voting guide was constructed by 13 students in Dr. Amanda Sturgill's class.

"My students have been to most of the rural areas in the county observing, conducting interviews with civic leaders, citizens and candidates and conducting exit polls at the primary election sites in these areas," said Sturgill, who serves as assistant professor of journalism.

"Our exit poll showed that more than three quarters of rural voters in McLennan County do use the Internet. We hope the site will make it easier for voters in small towns and ISDs to learn about candidates and issues that will affect them in the May 15 general election."

Sturgill's online media class has produced voting guides three times since 1999. The guides have won a public service award from the Southwestern Journalism Congress and it was the only collegiate site in Texas to feature live, election night updates in the 2000 elections. Last summer, it was honored with a GIFT award (Great Ideas for Teachers) from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

For more information, contact Sturgill at 710-6322.

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