Students’ votes align with county voters
The majority of Chester County student and adult voters picked Clinton over Trump for president
>> 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 at www.cciu.org/KidsVoting.
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.