Aviano students learn about picking a president
AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — If the students at Aviano Middle School and Aviano High School had their say, the United States would be electing its first female president.
The Democratic ticket of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine earned 78 of the 180 votes cast in a mock election Tuesday, with the Republican tandem of Donald Trump and Mike Pence tallying 56.
Of course, the vast majority of students attending the schools on Aviano Air Base don’t have a say in the process. So Tuesday’s vote was more about the process itself.
Students have been following the campaign and learning about the U.S. political system in both schools. They had a chance to register to vote in the mock election for three days during lunch, and were given links to the candidates’ websites.
More than 200 registered, according to Kathleen McNeil, who teaches a current events class at the middle school. A handful of her students served as election monitors, checking voter registration cards, directing prospective voters to the booths and then handing out “I voted today” stickers and a piece of candy to those who cast ballots.
“I think this is worth a million dollars here today,” said teacher Elizabeth Baldwin, indicating her own sticker and the excitement that the process was generating among the students.
Teachers weren’t allowed to vote in the school election, though those who cast absentee ballots sported the stickers. But students from 6th to 12th grades lined up during a single class period in the afternoon and stepped behind booths to anonymously click on their presidential choice via several computers. The setup was simple: click for president, click on grade and click on gender.
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