Students at Christ Episcopal School in Rockville got a hands-on look at the electoral process last week as they voted in the school’s mock presidential election.
Students in kindergarten through eighth grade “registered” to vote a week before the election. In the days leading up to the election, kindergarteners learned about the qualifications needed to become president and the voting age. Older students learned about political parties, campaign strategies, the popular vote and the Electoral College.
Each grade represented a “state,” with a specific number of electoral votes.
President Barack Obama won the electoral vote 5-4, with each grade level accounting for one electoral vote. Obama also claimed the popular vote, 63 (54.8 percent) to 52 (45.2 percent).
(The vote was closer in the school’s Electoral College than in the real one, where Obama claimed 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney’s 206 but not far off from the national popular vote, which Obama claimed 50.6 percent to 47.8 percent.)
On Election Day, eighth graders staffed the polling station, checking students in before students filled out their ballots at a “privacy station,” cast their vote at a ballot box and received an “I Voted” sticker.
Eighth graders helped younger students cast their vote and had the task of counting the votes.
“Helping the younger students vote was a great experience because we got to hear about their different opinions on who they thought would be a better president,” eighth grader Alexandra Hacopian said in a news release from the school.
“Students were able to talk about the election with their parents and were just as interested in the outcome as their moms and dads,” the news release said. “They can’t wait to be old enough to participate in future elections and make their voices heard.”