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Students vote for president in Howland

School has mock election to teach kids about democracy

HOWLAND — Every four years the students at Howland Middle School vote for president and their results have matched the national winner.

In 2008 and 2012 the students voted for Barack Obama and in 2016 for Donald Trump.

After the vote by students in grades 5-8 on Friday and Monday the students showed their support for Trump.

Principal Stephen Kovach noted some of the eight-graders who are 14 will be voting in the next presidential election in 2024 when they are 18.

“This was their last non-voting presidential election. What is neat for the students is, we are doing this with the electoral college based on the size of the homerooms. This allows the students to understand about the electoral college prior to them seeing the results of the real election,” Kovach said.

Each Tiger Pride classroom period at the school was designated a different state in an effort to mimic the electoral college process. Each state was listed on classroom doors and indicated how many electoral votes that state has.

Kovach said one room was Iowa and had six electoral votes, while another was California with 55 electoral votes, the most in the nation. He said states were also marked blue as traditionally Democrat or red as traditionally Republican.

During the Tiger Pride period students got on a computer and went to the school’s website and cast their vote for president. The election event was coordinated by the school’s social studies department.

Eighth-grade U.S. History teacher Megan Sullivan said the students took part in both the popular vote of the entire student body with 53 percent for Trump and 47 percent for Joe Biden, and the electoral vote with 321 for Trump and 217 for Biden.

Eighth-grader Kayden Ramsey, 13, said he learned the importance of citizens voting for candidates and issues.

He said the class looked over information on Biden and Trump and how they stand on various issues, and he cast his vote for Trump.

Aliya Naimat, 13, another eighth-grader, said it was nice to see what it’s like to be part of an election and wait for the results. She said after looking over the candidates she cast her vote for Biden.

Alex Gumino, 14, who is student council president, said he will be among those who can vote during their senior year in high school in the next presidential election.

“I am very excited to see how the results come out,” Gumino said, also noting the school results have been in line with how the nation voted. He said he cast his vote for Trump.

Sullivan said students in the past few weeks have gained an understanding of the voting history and process in the United States.

“We believe it is our civic duty to teach about the democracy that we live in, so that when they go out into the world they are more educated future-voters,” Sullivan said.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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