Students decide their own future by learning to vote

Nov. 06, 2012 @ 05:37 PM

By now, presidential ballots have been cast in the nation. But there’s one other electoral body that leaders should appreciate — the vote of Archdale-Trinity Middle School students.
Who won the student vote? Obama? Romney? We’ll tell you later.
In just a few years, these student will have the right to decide future leaders. For now, they have learned about the process.
Members of the eighth grade business, marketing and entrepreneurship classes planned and executed a mock presidential election Oct. 30.
Posters in the “voting center” in the school cafeteria promoted both candidates. Polls opened before school hours and operated throughout lunch periods.
‘Registrar’ Hailey Nance was hopeful that all would exercise the right.
“I think they’ll all come in and vote,” she said.
Voters stood in line to register, then cast their votes in voting booths made from furniture boxes and decorated with red, white and blue stars.
Prior to voting day, business students Isabella Forst and Samantha Spencer designed a multimedia presentation on the electoral process and the popular vote versus the Electoral College. Copies of the presentation were viewed by all social studies classes.
“They learned that North Carolina has 15 electoral votes versus California which has 55,” said business teacher Jandra Dillon.
After highlighting names on a voter registration list, Kadie Miller distributed paper ballots which she designed.
“Opinions matter,” she said.
Registration entitled each student to a vote.
“Can I vote?” asked teacher Stacy Schaefer.
“Sorry, no adults,” said registrar Michael Fields, “but you get to vote for real.”
Votes were counted and verified throughout the day.
Business classes also studied the impact that the elections have.
“Right now we’re learning about the U.S. economy and how the stock market works,” said Michael. “Politics affects both of them.”
“All the students had an opportunity to vote for the presidential nominee of their choice,” said Ms. Dillon. “We urged them to vote because how they vote in the future will affect their lives. Whoever goes into office will have the ability to make policies which affect the military, the affordability of student loans and stimulate the creation of jobs.”
“It can be hard to make decisions,” admitted early voter Haley Kimball. “We watched CNN News and it helped a lot.”
This story was prepared before the Nov. 6 Election Day. At ATMS, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan won with 459 votes won over Barack Obama and Joe Biden with 154.
Voter turnout was an impressive 69 percent — 613 out of 884 students cast their votes.
“This has definitely been successful in educating students on the electoral college,” said Dillon.