By ABBY SLANKER
As third- and fourth-grade C.H. Campbell Elementary School students entered the school’s classroom polling place, they saw what every other voter in the country saw — voting booths by precinct and a ballot box. It was all part of the school’s mock presidential election Nov. 6.
The students were also greeted by red, white and blue decorations and posters of the presidential candidates and political parties. Each student was required to fill out a voter registration card in order to vote, which included choosing a kids voter declaration, such as ‘I will register to vote when I turn 18,’ and ‘I will encourage my parents to vote.’
With their teachers serving as polling place workers, the students turned in their registration cards and were assigned a precinct which corresponded to their classroom number. In keeping with the rules of the official election, students were required to sign their name as proof they were the ones voting.
The students were given their ‘official’ ballots and were sent to the voting booth to make their choice. Once their vote was cast, each student put their ballot in the ballot box to be counted.
“With this mock election, we want the students to learn to be good citizens. We want them to know that they will have a voice in their community when they are old enough. Also, as part of the curriculum, the students have been learning about the right to vote amendment and this was a great opportunity to actually show them the process,” said Heidi Snyder, C.H. Campbell fourth-grade teacher.
Of course, as with any election, after they voted, the students were given the all-important ‘I voted today’ sticker, which they wore with pride.
“The students were very excited about voting today. It is a big deal to them and they couldn’t wait to cast their ballots,” Snyder said.
Probably the biggest difference between C.H. Campbell’s election and the nationwide election was the fact that there were no long lines for the elementary school voters. There was a time limit on the students’ voting, as they had to get back to class.
According to Snyder, the votes would be tallied after all third- and fourth-graders had voted and the results would be announced at the end of the school day.