Falkville Elementary participated in mock election

By Lauren Thornton Tobin

Falkville Elementary students learned a hands-on lesson about the voting process in America on Nov. 8.

Students and teachers from pre-k through 6th grade filed in and out of 4th and 5th grades writing teacher Linda Grissom’s room to cast their votes in homemade voting booths for the second time in four years.

The student-ran election gave every grade a chance to participate, both by “working” at the polls and voting.

5th graders were in charge of checking students in to the polls by marking their names on a list, giving them a ballot and watching over the ballot box.

Like most Americans on Election Day, students waited in line for their turn. Once they got a ballot, they entered one of two voting booths made from refrigerator boxes.

Poll worker Cedric Beavers said his favorite part of the whole thing was going into the voting booths.

“It was so dark in there,” he said.

Fellow poll worker Jackson Edmonson said his favorite part was counting the votes, and the ballot box is where he learned the most.

Voter Autumn May said she enjoyed learning the election process but her favorite part was getting out of class to come vote.

She said she learned how important it is to pick a candidate to vote for.

Based on the vote count, it appeared students voted much the same as adults did as Donald Trump won by a landslide of 310 votes with Hillary Clinton garnering 79.

Grissom said the students weren’t the only ones who learned something from the project.

“I learned that if you show you’re excited about something, it rubs off on kids,” she said. “They saw teachers come in…and they saw that it meant a lot to us that they do this.”

After two successful elections, Grissom said these will now be a regular part of class on Election Day, and just based on what she saw, students more easily understood why and how Americans vote because of the hands-on experience.

Before the election, Grissom spoke with students about the importance of making an individual and informed choice about who they voted for.

“We talked about listening to their parents and then forming their own opinions and boosting their education to be well prepared to make their own decisions,” she said. “Hopefully this stays with them and they remember they can make a change by voting.”

 

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