Stu­dents’ votes align with county vot­ers

The ma­jor­ity of Chester County stu­dent and adult vot­ers picked Clin­ton over Trump for pres­i­dent

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ginger Rae Dunbar gdun­bar@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @GingerDun­bar on Twit­ter

>> There was a 5050 chance of be­ing right.

The Chester County In­ter­me­di­ate (CCIU) an­nounced on Thurs­day that Chester County stu­dents from 41 schools, who par­tic­i­pated in cast­ing their votes sim­i­lar to a mock elec­tion, had in­ac­cu­rately pre­dicted the out­come of the pres­i­den­tial race.

Stu­dents aligned their pres­i­den­tial pick with the vot­ers of Chester County and nom­i­nated Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton as the win­ner. Repub­li­can Don­ald

Trump de­feated Clin­ton in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion last Tues­day. Pres­i­dent-elect Trump won Penn­syl­va­nia, which was the first time a GOP pres­i­den­tial can­di­date won the state since 1988.

The votes showed that 56 per­cent of stu­dents voted for Clin­ton while 32 per­cent of stu­dents voted for Trump. Lib­er­tar­ian Gary John­son and Green Party can­di­date Jill Stein re­ceived 6 per­cent and 5 per­cent of the stu­dent votes, re­spec­tively.

National polls showed Clin­ton with a slight lead prior to the elec­tion. De­spite a larger vot­ing gap, the ma­jor­ity of the stu­dents also voted for Clin­ton over Trump, when given the chance to cast their votes.

Since its in­cep­tion in 1996, stu­dents in Chester County have ac­cu­rately pre­dicted the pres­i­den­tial win­ners through Kids Vot­ing USA. The win­ning streak ended this year; how­ever, for the first time in six elec­tions.

Jen­nifer Shealy, CCIU spe­cial events co­or­di­na­tor, said that stu­dents stud­ied the can­di­dates and is­sues of the cam­paign lead­ing up to Elec­tion Day as a part of the project.

“In ad­di­tion to class­room prepa­ra­tion, par­ents were en­cour­aged to spend time with their chil­dren dis­cussing can­di­dates and is­sues, as well as gather in­for­ma­tion from me­dia out­lets,” Shealy said in a state­ment.

After the re­search por­tion of the project was com­plete, Shealy said stu­dents par­tic­i­pated in a vot­ing ex­pe­ri­ence us­ing an elec­tion bal­lot to cast their vote.

Each of the par­tic­i­pat­ing schools had the abil­ity to take vary­ing ap­proaches to in­te­grat­ing the Kids Vot­ing project into their school. Chester County stu­dents were in­vited to vote on­line for their fed­eral, state and lo­cal can­di­dates from Nov. 1-8.

Shealy said the stu­dents learned through the “Kids Vot­ing” class­room ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Kids Vot­ing pro­vides stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to be in­volved with and un­der­stand the vot­ing process a bit more,” Shealy said. “Some par­ents take their chil­dren to the vot­ing booth with them which is a won­der­ful way to model cit­i­zen­ship. Hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to vote in school pro­vides the ex­pe­ri­ence for all chil­dren.”

A Kids Vot­ing Kick Off Cer­e­mony, co­or­di­nated by the CCIU, took place on Oct. 25 at the Chester County His­toric Court­house in West Chester.

CCIU rep­re­sen­ta­tives said the cer­e­mony in­cluded stu­dent tes­ti­mo­ni­als on the mean­ing of democ­racy, a mock voter reg­is­tra­tion for stu­dents and a “wish for the fu­ture” cer­e­mony. At that time, stu­dents shared their hopes for the coun­try.

“I wish that who­ever is elected leads our coun­try with courage, in­tegrity and in­tel­li­gence,” Laser Fred­er­ick, a stu­dent at St. Agnes School, said dur­ing the cer­e­mony. “And that any chal­lenge thrown at our coun­try will be re­solved in the man­ner in which our Found­ing Fa­thers es­tab­lished for our coun­try.”

Ac­cord­ing to the or­ga­ni­za­tion, Kids Vot­ing USA is a national net­work of­fer­ing civic learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to stu­dents in kin­der­garten through 12th grade and en­cour­ages adult voter turnout. It com­bines class­room in­struc­tion, fam­ily di­a­logue and an au­then­tic vot­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

A video of the kick­off cer­e­mony can be viewed at­sVot­ing.

Visit Daily Lo­cal News staff writer Ginger Rae Dunbar’s blog about jour­nal­ism and vol­un­teer­ing as a firefighter at Fire­fight­erGinger.blogspot. com.


Pic­tured are St. Agnes School stu­dents at the 2016 Chester County Kids Vot­ing Kick Off Cer­e­mony.

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