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Obama Wins Mock Election at Gwin Oaks Elementary School by a Landslide

Students at the elementary school in Lawrenceville, Ga. participated in the National Student Mock Election.

It may be another decade before Gabe Arguello's vote will actually count, but that did not stop the eight year old from going to the polls.

The second grader took part in a mock election held at Gwin Oaks Elementary School in Lawrenceville Tuesday. He and other students across the country are voting in the National Student Mock Election.

“We’re always teaching good citizenship here,” said Gwin Oaks’ Media Specialist Sharon Amolo. “Having them participate in this mock election actually shows good citizenship.”

Amolo coordinates the event every other year when there is either a presidential or a gubernatorial race.

-Have you talked to your children about the election? Tell us what you shared with them in the comment section below.

It is a very organized process. First, the children in grades two to five file in to the Media Center to cast their votes. They then need to “register” by handing the volunteers a slip of paper with their name, grade and other information. Next they will go to one of the computers, which have been set up as polling stations. There, they will select the button next to their candidate’s name. Pictures of three presidential candidates and their running mates are at each station to in case the students need a visual reminder.

While many adults will weigh a candidate’s stance on things like the economy and foreign policy before voting, children often have different ways of picking a president.

In our “exit poll,” Arguello said he picked Republican Mitt Romney. “I voted for him because he looked handsome,” said the student.

“I just chose him!” said classmate Michael Smith, 7, as to why he picked Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson

During the entire month of October, special announcements were made to the Gwin Oaks students explaining more about the election and the candidates. Some of the children used that information to make their decision.

Second grader Taylor Pruitt, 7, said she voted for Democrat Barack Obama “because he had a ‘gooder’ speech.”

Third grader Will Morris also picked Obama. “I think he has better comments than Mitt Romney,” said the 8 year old.

Parent Burnicia Reid was helping out at the event. Her son is in kindergarten but is aware of the political process. “He’s seen us talking about the election and he’s decided on his own who he’s going to vote for,” said Reid.

Volunteer Jean Ferrara said the mock election is a great lesson for the students. “It’s a wonderful thing to help teach kids how important it is to vote,” said the retiree. “It let’s them know how important it is to vote when they come of age.”

The children understood how vital it is to vote and plan to do so when they turn 18. Most of their parents had already voted and many of the students were able to go to the polling place with them. Arguello said his mother and father had not yet cast their ballots. “I’m gonna make sure they get out and vote,” he said enthusiastically.

After all the votes were tabulated, President Obama won by a landslide at Gwin Oaks. He finished with 67.7% or 423 votes. Governor Romney came in second with 30.1% or 188 votes. In third place was Governor Johnson with 2.2% or 14 votes. 

Nationwide voting in the mock election was initially slated to end on November 1st. However, due to a number of schools being closed after Hurricane Sandy, voting will continue through Election Day, November 6th.

Jessica Elliot November 01, 2012 at 06:46 PM
It's not that I don't appreciate children learning about the voting process. It's that in order to really understand the voting process, they'd have to teach the children how to skeptically question each of the candidates offered to them. I think many people underestimate the intellectual capacity of children at a young age. Kids are only as competent as we expect them to be. My coworker has a step-daughter in grade 1 and she is smart as a whip! She questions everything and knows a lot about the worst and best of the world. This is because her parents treat her as though they expect her to know these things. She isn't treated like a child and, while there are some things that she hasn't been told yet, there's the understanding that these are things that she should know. I certainly don't hold you responsible for any lack of information the children had (and I can appreciate that second graders may not have the greatest grasp of such subjects). I actually hope that this sort of exercise is repeated yearly and with each grade being given a greater amount of information. Personally, I think that the electoral system should be a subject that students should learn more about each year. As I'm sure we can both agree, it is far too complicated a subject for students to learn in merely one year.
Tonya Grace- Founder Atlanta Filmmakers Alliance November 01, 2012 at 06:47 PM
As a teacher for over ten years, I can vouch for the fact that teachers don't have much influence on students' votes. Children tend to vote in a way that their parents will. Research shows that parents are the biggest influences on children, not the teachers. I just don't call children ignorant for supporting their parents and their beliefs. And how do we know who has expanded their scope of understanding? Just because one doesn't vote in the manner as another, doesn't mean they haven't thoroughly thought about it. Voting selections are based on opinions, regardless of who is voted for......period.
Msgoff November 01, 2012 at 08:56 PM
First of all adults, these are children in elementary school who are learning about an important process that they will need to know about and be involved in when they are 18 years old. These children are not ignorant! They are more intelligent than we were at the same age, thanks to the many resources and modes of education that are available to them now. They learn a lot outside the classroom! Please do not be dismayed that President Obama won by a landslide beause this is not the "real" election. As I read this I wondered who won in the children's election in 2008, and in previous elections, and what the adult reaction was. In response to Tonya Grace's comment, I do not have research to support this; however, I think the teachers most likely did not have any (rather than much) influence on the students' votes. I agree with your other remarks. We should give children credit these days. They are very intelligent and independent thinkers at a very early age now and we should support and embrace that. As for the children being educated on the policies of the candidates, heck most adults don't understand what their policies are, in any election. Or should I ask the question, do we truly vote on the policies of a candidate or do we vote based on our party affiliation or follow the lead of adults in our lives?
Susan Johnson November 01, 2012 at 11:55 PM
That's wonderful. "and a little child shall lead them" comes to mind
jim November 02, 2012 at 10:16 AM
75% influenced by their parents. 25% influenced by their teachers. The indoctrination protocol is in full swing.

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