Eva Turner Elementary holds mock elections
Students exercise opportunity to have their voices heard
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.