Students are heading to the voting polls - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Students are heading to the voting polls

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October 12, 2004

Albany - Students across the nation are getting a chance to vote for President and several big issues. The Dougherty County School System is holding a mock election next week. Tuesday, all 26 schools joined for a live video discussion of what races and issues their find on the ballots.

You must be eighteen to vote, but people much younger are taking a stance on the candidates and issues this election year. "One day, we'll be controlling the country," said Westover High School Junior Pamela Robinson. "They need to listen to us, hear what we have to say. We have a voice." And, the voice of each of these students will be heard during a mock election.

Tuesday, Dougherty County students and teachers used video technology called distance learning to discuss how the election process will work. Distance learning allows one instructor to teach students at various schools.

"I tried to asked a variety of questions," said Social Studies Curriculum Supervisor Scott Myers. "There seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm and interest in the election."

Students learned about the candidates. "John Kerry is from Massachusetts and President Bush is from Texas," said fifth grader Jasmine Jones.

They debated who would be a better President. "Most of us our democrats, but she's not. It's good to discuss different opinions," said Dougherty Comprehensive High School Senior Taneka Marshall.

And, student talked about the important issues. "Education," said fifth grader D'Andre Taylor. "That's because everybody needs to have a good life, grow up to get good careers and stay off drugs."

Students will note only vote on the President and Congressional lawmakers, but also on issues ranging from women registering for the military at 18 and a statewide smoking ban in Georgia. "Smoking is nasty and needs to be ruled out totally," said Marshall.

Teachers hope the mock election will encourage students to follow this year's election. "It's really going to dictate there future, everything from military involvement to taxes," said Myers.

Hopefully, this lesson in political activism will turn these young citizens into educated voters in the future. Dougherty County students will find out the results of the mock election October 29th.

Posted at 4:58PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com