Friday, November 5, 2004
Carlisle students cast their 'votes' for President
"Who is this guy, Ralph Nader?" asked a seventh grader, as
he carried his presidential ballot to a voting both on Thursday, October
28. Election Day came early for students at the Carlisle School when
all grades voted in the National Student/Parent Mock Election. Carlisle
School Librarian Sandy Kelly enrolled the school into the program offered
by the non-profit, non-partisan organization National Student/Parent
Mock Election (NSPME), which provides free election materials to schools.
Over ten million students participated in the last two elections, according
to NSPME. The students' ballots were sent to the Kennedy Library, which
tallied the results and submitted them to the NSPME. Results can be
seen state by state on their website, www.nationalmockelection.org.
The Carlisle School ballots were simple, listing just three names (Bush, Kerry, and Nader) and their party affiliations. Official town of Carlisle voting booths were brought to the library by the DPW, complete with the Voters Bill of Rights displayed in the booths, which one seventh-grader read out loud in its entirety.
The kindergarten and first grades voted in their classrooms, "because they can't reach the voting booths," explained Kelly. "It took a lot of preparation." She added pictures to their ballots helped them recognize their candidates.
Students were reminded they did not have to put their names on the ballots, reversing a usual custom for every piece of work the students hand in. "Interestingly, the first class was evenly split" between Bush and Kerry, said Kelly, possibly reflecting a national pattern, she surmised.
© 2004 The Carlisle Mosquito