Students cast ballots in mock election

November 7th, 2008    Author: Michael Bradley    Filed Under: News

Just 24 hours before the election polls opened Nov. 4, students at the Merwin and Amelia Elementary Schools participated in mock presidential elections.

At Merwin Elementary, students in grades three through five had the opportunity to participate in the nationwide election by casting their votes for president in what is expected to be the largest student vote for a president in history, said Merwin fifth grade social studies teacher Sandy Algiers.

Students at the Amelia Elementary School wait in line and receive instructions before casting their ballot for president Nov. 3.
"Students cast their vote online from the school's computer lab," Algiers said. "More than 4 million students from all 50 states are participating. Our students are thrilled that they are getting this opportunity."

One of those thrilled students was fifth grader Cody Dollenmayer.

"Voting for the president makes you feel powerful," Dollenmayer said after casting his vote. "We get to do something today that kids cannot really do until they are old enough, so this was really cool thing to do - it makes me feel more grown up."

Merwin principal Jackie Hospelhorn said that it was important for the students to participate in this year's presidential election to show them that things in the world do have an affect on all of us, especially who gets elected to the highest office in the nation.

"We want them to realize that they have a right to vote and a civic responsibility to vote," Hospelhorn said. "And it will be interesting to see how the results, and the percentages, measure up and compare with how the state and the rest of the country votes."

Algiers said that it was particularly important that students learn about the voting process early so that they are well prepared to participate and make good decisions about voting when they become eligible to vote.

"Plus, it's fun for them," Algiers said.

The whole student body at the Amelia Elementary school, kindergarten through fifth grade, held a more official election Nov. 3, including pre-registration, voter identification and registration cards, polling booths, paper ballots, and a ballot box.

"The students have been talking and studying about the election, specifically about the election process as to what it means, how important it is to a democracy, the candidates, and the issues," said Amelia Elementary School principal Stephanie Walker. "It has been a lot of fun and very educational for our students."

Merwin student Mikayla Jetter said that it felt really good to vote for the president.

"Today, we get to pick the man that we like the best," she said. "Voting for the person that we think is right for the country feels really, really good."

Anyone interested in the results of the online student vote for the states, and the tally numbers (for Republican and Democrat), can visit www.studiesweekly.com and click on election results.
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