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KCH holds mock presidential election


KCH student votes in mock electionNov. 7, 2016 -- Students in kindergarten through third-grade got a jump on their parents and grandparents Monday, when they cast ballots in K.C. Heffernan Elementary School’s mock presidential election.
 
Second-grade teacher Lisa MacLachlan – who guided the pint-sized citizens into tabletop voting booths that consisted of iPads surrounded by cardboard privacy screens – has presided over this quadrennial tradition at KCH for the past three general elections. (Third-grade teacher Susan Vetsch provided a technical assist by programming the iPads.)
 
“I just think it’s so important for the kids to understand the election process and the privilege it is that we get to vote in the United States,” Ms. MacLachlan said. “Not every country is like that. When they hear about low voter turnout, I’m hoping our KCH kids will think back and say, ‘I got to vote when I was 8 years old, and I can’t wait to vote when I’m 18.’”
 
Last week, second-graders Mia Keeley and Beckett Ertzinger played the roles of U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, respectively. Each read a mostly biographical stump speech written by Ms. MacLachlan. Students in her class also traveled around to other classrooms to explain the electoral process and played the part of polling site volunteers Monday.
 
On “Election Day,” KCH students were summoned one class at a time to the “polling site” (a main office conference room), where they were ushered in pairs to the two voting booths and then given “I voted” stickers.
 
Although the votes were tallied in the end, Principal Gary Bissaillon said the school has been stressing the importance of the process over the results with students. 
 
“Big kudos goes out to Lisa MacLachlan and her class for organizing, showing examples of campaign signs, talking about the election process, explaining to students the legal requirements in order to run for president and helping at the polling site on mock election day,” Mr. Bissaillon said.
 
For the record, 50 percent of students cast votes for Clinton, 40 percent for Trump and 10 percent for neither. 

photo of students mock election candidates 

Second-graders Beckett Ertzinger (left) and Mia Keeley played the parts of the 2016 presidential candidates.



Poll site volunteers for KCH mock election

Proud poll site volunteers Taylor Thorpe (left) and Mia Domurat.

KCH mock election 

Second-grade teacher Lisa MacLachlan directs students to the voting booths.

KCH mock election photo

KCH kindergartners queued up to cast their ballots.


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