A fresh, young view of voting

Oct 26, 2010, 2:53 AM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

The General Election ballots are due one week from today, but by the end of this week we will already know how the initiative campaigns turned out and which candidates will be elected to office.

4thGradStudents in thousands of classrooms across the state are holding a mock election with the same ballot choices parents face.

Jolie goes to Carriage Crest Elementary in the Kent School district. She likes school, her friends and playing video games. But she also pays attention to campaign commercials.

“They always make these little stupid things on TV. Patty Murray is doing wrong; Patty Murray is doing right. And then Dino Rossi is doing wrong; Dino Rossi is doing right” she says. “Can you just cut that off so I can understand.”

Fourth grade teacher Amber Vandermeulen has been trying to help her students understand. They’ve studied the candy, soda and bottled water tax.

“We had the students write about their opinion and then they got to debate whether they were a yes or a no, and try to persuade each other,” says Vandermuelen.

Another student, Erica, says she understands the candy tax initiative. She thinks it should be repealed. “If you just pay more, you might lose your money,” she says.

Vandermeulen says her goal is to get kids involved in politics at an early age.

“I hope that they understand that as they grow to adults that they do have a voice in our community and our country,” she says. “They need to use their voice to somehow make a difference.”

If you have a student in public school, you can see the ballots they’ll be using for elementary grades, and middle and high school classes. The first mock election results should be ready Friday of this week.

Now something for parents – Washington State Elections has an iPhone ap to track election results on the go next week. Search for WA State Election Results. It’s free, but only works if you have an iPhone 4.

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A fresh, young view of voting