Pine Middle School Students Vote for President - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Pine Middle School Students Vote for President

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While many adults get ready to cast their ballots Tuesday, students at Pine Middle School cast theirs Monday.

The eighth graders have been studying the election in several different classes, learning how the process works, and even figuring out their own political affiliations. Monday, all that research came down to a vote.

"You're going to vote for president, for our local representatives, and Senate," Pine librarian Lorrie Foley instructed a class.

In four or five years, these kids will be able to vote for real. But for now, they are getting some practice.

An online program uses an electronic ballot to poll students all over the country. It is basically the same thing their parents will see when they head to the polls.

"If the kids do it [at school], then they go to high school, they learn a little bit more," Foley said, "and they are excited about being 18 and being able to vote."

Voting age or not, these kids are still surprisingly passionate about politics.

"I am all into this stuff," eighth grader Rachel Henley said. "I like hearing about politics and the economy, and what is happening around me."

"[Voting] felt like I was doing something right for Nevada, and helping our economy," eighth grader Marchelle Mullins said.

But the students are not happy about everything. Many said that they would like to get rid of the mud-slinging between candidates. And after studying campaign ads, they would make them more honest.

"We had one commercial where there were three different facts," eighth grader Braden Piccinini said. "Two out of three were false. They were just completely wrong. And one was misguided."

So who is their pick for president this election? In one class, the students voted with paper ballots, and President Obama had a small edge. But we spoke to several passionate young Republicans as well.

Party affiliation aside, they said there is no excuse not to vote.

"If they don't vote, they don't get their voice heard," Mullins said. "And if no one's talking, you can't have a conversation."

The electronic ballots the students cast come from the Pearson Foundation, which has been doing these mock student elections nationwide since 1980. Normally the results would be in by Monday evening, but due to Superstorm Sandy, officials pushed back the voting deadline to Tuesday night. So they will release who the kids choose just a few hours before the country finds out who the voters choose.

Written by Arianna Bennett
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