Eva Turner Ele­men­tary holds mock elec­tions

Stu­dents ex­er­cise op­por­tu­nity to have their voices heard

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

Next week, Amer­ica will choose its next pres­i­dent. On Tues­day, the stu­dents at Eva Turner Ele­men­tary School in Wal­dorf chose who they would like to be the next pres­i­dent in the first mock elec­tions held at the school.

“It’s im­por­tant for them to see that their opin­ions mat­ter,” said school Prin­ci­pal Or­lena Wat­ley. “Even though they’re not at the age to ac­tu­ally vote, it is im­por­tant to teach them the im­por­tance of the elec­toral process and the vot­ing process and

[help] them to be­come in­formed cit­i­zens, be­cause if they are in­formed now, they’re like sponges, they’ll want to con­tinue to learn.”

Wat­ley said the mock elec­tions were pre­ceded by dis­cus­sions at each grade level about the role of elec­tions and gover- nance.

“We talk to them about what do you value? What’s im­por­tant to you? You want to elect peo­ple who share the same val- ues you do,” Wat­ley said.

Stu­dents lined up by grade to cast their bal­lots Tues­day. The com­puter lab was made into a poll- ing sta­tion, with voter rolls and vot­ing booths where stu­dents could choose be­tween the Demo­cratic, Repub­li­can, Lib­er­tar­ian and Green Party can­di­dates.

Par­ent vol­un­teers manned the polling site and, af­ter vot­ing, each stu­dent re­ceived an “I Voted” sticker.

Keith Juarez, Eva Turner tech­nol­ogy fa­cil­i­ta­tor, said that as each grade voted, the re­sults were tal­lied, and up­dates about vote to­tals were given through­out the day.

“The kids have been re­ally ex­cited about it,” Juarez said.

Makala Dames, 9, a fourth grader at Eva Turner, said it felt “re­ally good” to cast her bal­lot.

“Even though I’m only 9 years old and I have nine years be­fore I can re­ally vote, I still think that my voice should be heard, and I feel that even though lit­tle kids still have a long way to go, they can get prac­tice in learn­ing how to vote,” Dames said.

“It felt pretty in­tense, but also pretty good at the same time,” said fel­low fourth grader Chris­tian Carter, 9.

Makaila Fen­wick, 9, an­other fourth grader, said she voted for Demo­cratic can­di­date Hil­lar y Clin­ton.

“I like how she’s not shy, she’s brave, she’s strong, and she means what she says, and that’s why,” Fen­wick said.

As for the re­sults, Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton re­ceived the most votes from Turner stu­dents with 74.3 per­cent, fol­lowed by Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump with 14.4 per­cent, Lib­er­tar­ian pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Gary John­son with 6.2 per­cent and Green pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Jill Stein with 5 per­cent.


Eva Turner Ele­men­tary fourth grader Chris­tian Carter looks over his op­tions as he pre­pares to vote in the school’s mock elec­tions Tues­day.


Eva Turner Ele­men­tary fourth grader Makaila Fen­wick pre­pares to cast her bal­lot in the school’s mock elec­tions Tues­day.

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