A line of first-graders wandered into the room and were quickly sorted by a line-up of students at registration looking through lists ordered by last name. The time had come for the biggest decision of the school day: who to select for president of the United States. The ballot presented a choice between Democratic candidate Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney.
Whitley Mathis, 7, sported an American flag on her T-shirt as she wielded a highlighting pen and helped to orchestrate registration. She said she enjoyed checking off the names and learning more about the presidents in the school year leading up to the election.
“I didn’t know about some of the presidents,” said Whitley. “I only knew the ones on the coins.”
The mock presidential election held at the school was treated with the utmost decorum and respect by Crissy Arrington’s second grade students. Throughout the year, the class studied the election process, electoral college and kept up with the primaries and caucuses.
“They all kind of had an understanding that people vote, but they didn’t understand how the person gets picked to vote,” said Arrington. “We talked a lot about the different parties and the two main parties and how they are other parties.”
Arrington explained that many of the students expressed very adamant feelings about their choice of candidate and an important part of the curriculum was learning to respect the choices of others.
“We say everybody has their right to choose who they want to vote for but we need to respect others and their feelings because they have that same right,” said Arrington.
William Hindman was all business as he organized the paper ballot sheets into their respective bins for the Republican and Democratic candidates. He said some of the ballots were turned in with neither candidate selected, so he had to make sure those weren’t counted.
“It’s important so you know how many votes Obama and Romney get,” said Hindman.
In the end, Romney came out on top with 199 votes compared with Obama’s 131. The votes were counted, double-checked and then announced at the end of the day over the PA system. Ballots with both candidates selected or none at all were considered invalid.
All Floyd County Kaleidoscope elementary classes have held or are scheduled to hold mock presidential elections up until the day of the actual election day on Nov. 6.
“We tried to make it as close to the real election day as possible,” said Arrington. “They’re had a great time. They’ve really got into it and enjoyed it.”
Romney wins Armuchee Middle
Armuchee Middle School students also voted Friday in a mock election for the two main candidates for office of president of the United States. Their election was conducted by the Armuchee Middle School Indian Council, the student government association of the school.
“All week during our morning show announcements, students have been learning about the candidates as well as where to go to find out more information about President Obama and Gov. Romney,” said Dakota Thurston, an eighth grade student who serves as vice chief of the Indian Council. “This has been a very informative process that allows for students at Armuchee Middle to express our voice as to whom we think should be the president.”
The results of the AMS mock election were in Romney’s favor, with 336 students voting for him and 84 casting their ballot for the current president.