The library at Elkins Middle School was transformed into a polling place this week, complete with signs, a sample ballot, flags and balloons. The event was one of the final projects as students researched presidential candidates, political parties and the voting process.
EMS instructors Laura Davis and Stephanie Warner informed the students of the qualifications, criteria and duties for the office of the president. They also researched the voting process and each student completed a West Virginia Voter Registration form, which they presented before voting on Monday.
Purple team student Maddi Bowers said she enjoyed the project.
"I learned how polling places work and how to use the machines," Bowers said. "It was a really fun activity and a great way to learn about voting."
Students also had to investigate the two major political parties and "register" as a member for one party or the other. They were also required to visit each of the presidential candidate's websites and compare the candidates in four platform areas.
On Monday, students were able to "vote" for president, and learn to use the electronic voting machines provided by the Randolph County Clerk's office.
Zach Tysor is a seventh-grade Elkins Middle School student from the yellow team.
"We learned to be informed citizens and where to find resources about each candidate," Tysor said.
"I have a better understanding now about what the Republicans and Democrats stand for."
The students also learned about the electoral college.
"I was foggy about just how the electoral college works," seventh-grade student Hayden Long said. "This project cleared that up for me."
Davis said the results of the mock election were still unofficial, but Republican Mitt Romney was the projected winner over Democrat incumbent Barack Obama.
Contact Beth Christian Broschart by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.