Byline: Melissa Ramsdell Daily Herald Staff Writer
Last November, Dundee-Crown High School student Pete Rodriguez spent his afternoons pounding election signs into the ground and handing out campaign literature.
During the fall election, Dundee Township voters had to decide whether they wanted to raise property taxes to buy and preserve $18 million in undeveloped land.
Environmental science teacher Gary Swick gave Rodriguez and his classmates an assignment: try to influence the outcome of the election.
"I was for the open space district because I like the outdoors," Rodriguez said.
When the open space issue passed by fewer than 50 votes, Rodriguez realized every ballot counts in a close election. "You can have an impact," Rodriguez said.
He also learned some early lessons about politics and democracy. "It …