Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Fayette County Students and Adults Cast Votes in Historic Presidential Election

Sixth grader Olivia Phillips exercises her voting right during Rising Starr Middle’s mock presidential election.

As Fayette County voters in precinct 34 went to the polls on Tuesday at the Starr’s Mill Complex, so did the entire student body at Rising Starr Middle.

Throughout the day a steady stream of voters made their way to the Willie Duke Auditorium to decide on races and issues at the national, state and local levels. At the same time, Rising Starr students filed into the media center by grade level to cast their ballots for the three presidential candidates.

The polling area was setup to resemble that of an actual polling precinct so that the students would have as realistic of a voting experience as possible. Students had to check-in before entering the polling area to ensure that they were registered student voters.

Individual polling booths were set up on tables for voting privacy. After students cast their ballots, they received a sticker acknowledging that they had participated in the process.

“Most of the students are taking this very seriously and many of them have very strong views about who should win,” says Principal Len Patton.

In preparation for the election, students discussed the candidates and the electoral process in their social studies classes. Although they only voted for president, they had an opportunity to view a sample ballot in class.

Jill Romine, an eighth grade social studies teacher, and Becky Warren, media specialist, were the co-chairs of the mock election but every department within the school worked to make it a success. Romine says the school began planning for the mock election at the start of the school year.

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