By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
About 450 students at Emma Sansom Middle School got a first-hand look at the nation’s voting system with a mock election on Tuesday, October 25.
The students were lined up alphabetically in the library, in a similar way that they would be in a polling location.
“We are trying to get it as close to the actual voting process as we can,” said school librarian Andria Blackwell.
The students then went to one of the 26 voting stations set up throughout the school library. The students used laptops to vote with a free website provided by the Alabama State Department of Education called Alabamavotes.gov.
The students could vote for one of the four candidates: Republican candidate Donald Trump, Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson or Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
Seventh grade teacher Todd White said that his students had been learning about voter registration, polling places and local candidates. To learn about the presidential candidates, White had his students research each one to learn their stances on the issues, including marijuana legalization, abortion, gun rights, gay marriage, accepting refugees, education standards, immigration, global warming, military’s budget, space travel funding and many more. White also asked his students to consider the candidates history on these topics, as well as the current stances. The students compared and contrasted the issues and candidates, even holding debates to look at each side of the issues.
“It’s something different they get to do,” said Blackwell. “They are taking part in the process.”
Eighth-grader Alexis Richards gave advice to the adults headed to vote next week.
“Make sure you vote for the right one,”said Richards.
After voting students got to pose with a rooster named Blue, brought in by Hunter Blevins, who works with the kids on anti-drug programs as part of CED Mental Health’s initiatives.