By Michelle Owens, Army Flier Staff WriterNovember 7, 2008
FORT RUCKER, Ala.--A line of eager students with election ballots in hand marched up to a special booth in the Primary School library here Tuesday. Fort Rucker's youngest students got in on the Election Day action and cast their votes in a mock Presidential Election, naming John McCain as the United States' 44th President with 157 votes. The final tally left Barack Obama trailing by nine with 148 votes.
For the past few weeks, students have been learning about what it means to be the President of the United States, according to Vice Principal Dr. Vicki Gilmer.
"The election process was also discussed. To help children understand that candidates are selected based on characteristics and policies, the children looked at brochures that describe the individual candidates," she said.
Students in the school's gifted classes researched kid-friendly information about the candidates and made brochures that included information about the candidates' favorite colors, movies, books, baseball teams, TV shows and number of pets, Gilmer said.
Courtney Rael, 7, was one of the students helping at the polls Tuesday.
"We've been studying really hard about the election and we found a lot of information about (the candidates) on the Internet," she said. "Voting is important because the President runs our country and he flies in Air Force One."
Addy Thompson, 6, said she enjoyed being able to vote in the school's election.
"I learned that John McCain likes to hike," she said.
Kamarah Hall, 6, also enjoyed voting and learning about the candidates.
"I learned that Obama likes chili and McCain likes Mexican food, and I do too," he said.
Tuesday's mock election was run similarly to the ones in which adults participated in. Every child had to show their registration cards with their photo ID and sign in at the polls, before casting their votes.
After voting, each student received an "I Voted" sticker.
"(The mock election was) a great way to learn about our election process and form the beginnings of good citizenship," Gilmer said.