Brunswick students take part in mock elections

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

Even though they’re underage, Brunswick County students have gotten a chance in the past week to take part in the election process, too.

Monday, the entire student body at Union Elementary School, from kindergarten through fifth grade, cast votes in the presidential election.

The school-wide mock election was set up in the school gymnasium, which was decorated with red-white-and-blue and campaign signs for Obama and Romney.

One by one, classes arrived by grade level to cast votes on paper ballots, marked with red or blue crayon checkmarks, and celebrate election day.

School staff assisted students with “registration” upon their arrival in the patriotically-festooned gym. After casting votes, each student was rewarded with voting stickers.

School music teacher Betsy Tusai rallied students with music and song about Election Day during Monday’s school-wide mock voting.

“We are American in every way,” was one of the songs sung by school third-graders during their time to vote midday Monday.

As votes were tallied in each grade-level “precinct,” school media coordinator Dawn Long-Miller posted results on a board posted on the wall.

As of midday Monday, Romney had won over Obama in third, fourth and fifth grades.

Last Thursday morning, Nov. 1, students at South Brunswick Middle School in Southport also engaged in the democratic process through the Pearson Foundation National Mock election.

On that day, all students could cast votes for president, vice president, 7th-district representative and governor, according to Brunswick County Schools spokeswoman Jessica Swencki.

To replicate the voting experience, art students at the school designed campaign posters, and student council members served as poll workers.

Results of the election weren’t available by press deadline Tuesday. Swencki said results got delayed because of Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast, where schools were closed during the time the mock election by the Pearson Foundation was conducted.

She was hopeful results of the mock election—both nationally and for South Brunswick Middle School—would be available Wednesday, along with those of the real presidential election.