Monday, November 13, 2006

Pondering the Future of Voting

St. Albans City School Middle School students ponder the future of voting

Below are the 7th grade results. For Total results including results by grade, click here.

“By the time you vote, there is a strong possibility that you will be casting your vote electronically” predicted Mr. Steve Moore, Social Studies Teacher at St. Albans City School as the students used electronic remotes to cast their votes in Tuesday’s Mock Election conducted throughout the Middle School classes. This year’s election day tradition of conducting a mock election brought about a new twist, as Technology Integration Specialist, Lucie deLaBruere introduced teachers to electronic audience polling technology.

Following tradition, each middle school class cast their paper ballot, but votes were also collected using polling devices similar to the ones seem on many popular game show. As each class cast their votes, the results were immediately projected on a large screen to the class. Pleasant surprises, disappointments, or disbelief was heard throughout the classroom as students viewed the immediate results. They were eager to learn how their class votes compared with the rest of the school.

Not only did students listen attentively, as social studies teachers reviewed the candidates running for office of Senate, House of Representative, and Governor with the students, they also discussed the pros and cons of paper versus electronic voting procedures. Eight grade students also filled out voter registration forms and their teacher, Mr. Moore, introduced both the procedures and responsibility associated with casting your vote as a U.S. Citizen.

By the end of the day, paper ballots were tallied and compared to the electronic results. Electronic results were quickly available for the whole middle school, as well as for each grade level through the school web site under the “What’s Happening in Tech News” Veteran Social Studies Teacher, Bill Gorman, shared the fact that the 7th and 8th grade mock election results had traditionally proved to be very accurate predictions of the official election results from their community. This year’s students successfully predicted the winners of the both the Governor and Senate race, but failed the predict Mr. Welsh’s victory over Martha Rainville for House of Representative.


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