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Kiddos exercise right to vote PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   

Four years ago, one of Holyoke Elementary’s first-grade classes held a small mock election in conjunction with the real presidential election.

Tuesday, Nov. 6 on Election Day, Theresa Tharp’s fifth-grade class got into the spirit and helped organize another election.

Fifth-graders Josie Herman, Emily Jelden and Shianne Willmon are the three that organized a schoolwide mock election.

After running for office in a mock election in Laura Loutensock’s class, the girls really got enthusiastic about it. They also paid attention to the numerous political advertisements on television.

Students and teachers spent last Tuesday casting their ballots for president of the United States. Signs in the hallways had photos of President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney to help aid those younger students who had trouble reading the names of the candidates.

Holyoke Elementary art teacher Christina Martinez hunkers down behind one of the barriers Tuesday morning as she casts her vote.  —Enterprise photo

Planning began last Friday, Nov. 2 after Herman got the idea from her mother. The girls made voting barriers to help keep ballots secret. They also made a ballot box and signs encouraging the school to vote.

The girls said votes were to be counted and announced during the end of the day on Tuesday.

Those voting received an “I Voted” sticker and a piece of candy.

Students took turns acting as election judges throughout the day to make sure the voting process went smoothly for everyone.

Theresa Tharp's fifth-grade class

Before voting, students and faculty had to show their lunch card which acted as an identification card or driver’s license.

The fifth-graders haven’t studied politics and elections yet in social studies but will later this year. Election season has really put them in the mood and they are truly looking forward to learning more.

The trio of girls said they have seen the ads on television and noticed how the candidates like to make each other look bad. Jelden said she felt like sometimes the candidates overdo it with their advertising and backlashing.

All three girls also said the smack talk is just an attempt to win.

Even though they are too young to cast a real ballot, one is never too young to exercise their right to vote.

Holyoke Enterprise November 8, 2012