Kids head to the polls

Mock elections teaching students about voting and the government

CREATED Nov 6, 2012

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CEDARBURG - The excitement of this Election Day expanded beyond registered voters, third graders at Thorson Elementary in Cedarburg got their chance to register to vote.

Nine-year-old Makenna was excited for this Tuesday, “I'm wearing red white and blue because it's voting day!”  She and fellow third graders had their own mock election where they even had to register to vote.

Eight-year-old Andrew took TODAY’S TMJ4’s Jesse Ritka through the process: “What I handed in was a paper with my name and my address and my homeroom.  On my ballot is Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Gary Johnson.  Now I'm going to vote!”

And to the sound of patriotic music, that’s exactly what the Thorson Elementary third grade classes did.  “I voted for Obama!  Mitt Romney says he was going to cut education, that's what I heard on a website when I was looking,” nine-year-old Landon tells Ritka.

“I voted for Mitt Romney because I heard that he's going to lower taxes,” Connor says, explaining that lower taxes will help his parents.  
And while their parents will decide the outcome of this election, the eight and nine-year-olds will learn more about a job they dream of having some day.

"Makes laws and he makes decisions for our country so that's it," Makenna says.  It’s a job Landon wouldn’t mind having when he grows up, “Being in charge of the whole USA would be pretty cool.”  Connor agrees, “It's a big responsibility and it's really cool because everybody in the USA's gonna know you."

And even in third grade, they understand the importance of doing their civic duty, "I sort of like to vote because I like to have a word in who I want to be the president," explains Makenna.

But while the 3rd graders have learned a bit about the electoral system, they actually won't get to cast their own vote until 2024.