Democracy in action

Beginning this Monday, the Political Science Junior Fellows, partnering with the Huntsville YMCA, is proving that chidren have a voice too.

Through a “mock election,” the students of Samuel Houston Elementary, Estella Stewart Elementary, Gibbs Pre-K Center, and Mance Park Middle School will be able to choose the president and see what voting will be like once they turn 18.

The Junior Fellows decided to do this program in order to promote civic education. Before the mock election day, students were encouraged to research the candidates with help from teachers and parents to promote interest in the election and in order to make an informed decision.

“The opportunity to encourage young people to be active citizens [is] too good to pass up,” Political Science Junior Fellows President Megan Bryant said.

With this year’s election already one for the history books, the mock election gives young students a chance to participate in a historic event.

The event was made as realistic as possible for the students, who were asked not to talk during the voting process. There were also no party or candidate affiliated clothing or signs allowed near the voting area.

Students were even asked to “register” to vote by bringing their school IDs and signing in.

Each student received a mock ballot with the choices of the two presidential candidates. The student voters also used a voting booth made of a cardboard tri-fold.

The ballots only included the presidential candidates.

Once students finished voting, they dropped their ballots into the designated box and each child who participated received a sticker that read “I voted! Kids can vote too!”

Following the election on Friday, the YMCA will collect all the ballots, tabulate the results and report them to the community prior to Election Day.

“The Political Science Junior Fellows organization promotes education, public service and professionalism,” Bryant said.

The mock election served as a way to get the children of Huntsville excited about the upcoming election and promote good habits of having interest in their government.

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