Students Vote in Mock Election

By: Dave Byknish Email
By: Dave Byknish Email

WAYNESBORO, Va -- If the next four years were to be decided by the students at Berkeley Glenn Elementary, President Barack Obama would crush Mitt Romney. Sixty four percent of students at Berkeley Glenn Elementary want the president reelected and 29 percent would like to see a Republican in command. The rest would prefer a third party candidate.

Paige is a fifth grader and she said there is a reason she would not cast her vote for Romney.

“I disagreed with the fact that he would cancel women's rights to have children under circumstances,” said Paige.

Bailee, a fellow fifth grader, does not want to see the current president back in the White House.

“Obama said he might not cut taxes and make wealthier people pay more,” said Bailee.

How the girls came to those strong opinions may not be a surprise to anyone.

“A little bit of my opinion does come from the fact that my parents are going to vote, if they do vote, are going to vote for him.”

Paige said her parents also influenced her opinion.

“My parents have talked to me about the election and I saw TV reports, but I'm not sure that's true.”

Meg Heubeck, the director of instruction at the U.Va. Center for Politics said parent influence is a good thing.

“And that's life,” said Heubeck. “You may or may not accept or reject your parents' values. That's part of growing up. Parents are a very big influence and we want them to be.”

Those influences are what teachers at Berkeley Glenn said are the most difficult to teach about election season. They are probably also the most important thing voters need to consider as they visit the polling places on Tuesday.

“Try to listen to all the information that's out there,” said Kaeli Spencer, a second grade teacher. “Whether it be on the computer, whether it be from your family, from what you read. Just try to use all the information to make a decision.”

The students took home ballots so they can talk to their parents about the election. Teachers said they hope their enthusiasm from today will encourage their families to come out and vote on Tuesday.

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