Archive for Thursday, October 28, 2004

Mock election a practice in civil responsibility

October 28, 2004

A mock election scheduled for today at each of the schools in the Basehor-Linwood district was organized to promote civic responsibility and reinforce the importance of voting, district officials said.

"Civic responsibility is a great skill to teach a kid," assistant superintendent Bill Hatfield said. "Particularly learning about elections is a good lifelong skill for people to have." Hatfield added that another lesson the school district hopes to reinforce to students by hosting the election is that "the United States is at war and one of the best ways to honor our country and the soldiers is to vote."

Thursday morning, fourth through 12th grade students were slated to hit the polls. Approximately 16 members of the Basehor Veterans of Foreign Wars organization are serving as election officials.

There's but one difference between the voting practices students will see Thursday and the actual vote during next week's general election -- the votes won't count. Everything else remains identical to actual vote, Hatfield said.

"They're setting it up as much like a polling station," Hatfield said. "They have kids sign in, they have a roster and they vote."

The VFW members/election officials will tabulate the votes.

Hatfield said teachers have tried to promote civic responsibility in their classes during this election season. And, once the VFW members volunteered to help run the vote, results from which will be compiled by the Johnson County Election Commission, the district-coordinated mock election became a reality, he said.

"We had just an amazing source to help us with the VFW," Hatfield said.

Thursday marks the second time this year Basehor-Linwood students have voted on the presidential race. In an April mock election, also sponsored through the Johnson County election office, students selected the incumbent, George W. Bush, as their commander in chief. The Basehor-Linwood results resembled a statewide trend as students gave the president a nod over challengers John Kerry and Ralph Nader.

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