Northfield students show their election know-how

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Seventh-graders hold up their voter registration cards as they stand in front of a map they made of the Democratic and Republican voting trends in the country. The students were waiting to cast their ballots at the Northfield Community School mock election. Photo by Suzanne Marinoi

NORTHFIELD – They watched all the debates, they discussed the issues, and by Monday morning it was time for the middle school students at the Northfield Community School to head to the polls and vote.

“We tried to tie the election across the curriculum,” said social studies teacher Steve Vain, who organized the vote.

“Our use of swing states and the Electoral College had the kids using math, trying to figure out which combinations of delegates would put either of the candidates over the top. We forced them to be responsible and gave everyone voter registration cards about two weeks ago; we told them they would not be able to vote today unless they had their card with them.”

Only two students out of the entire seventh grade forgot them, Vain said.

“The cards give a lot of demographic information, and in the weeks to come we will be looking at all of the variables that contributed to the vote,” he added.

Alyx Stormes, who cast her ballot Monday, said the election has been interesting.

“We talked about the election in school and we talked about it at home. My mom and I discussed Barack Obama and Mitt Romney and what each platform was. It has been really interesting – and it has been fun,” she said.

She admitted that she and her mom had a difference of opinion on the candidates, but said she feels a part of the process because of everything she learned in class that led her to talk about it outside of class.

The votes, which were tallied at the end of Monday, proved to be reflective of the national trend. The popular vote went to Obama 211-186, while the Electoral College vote was 317 for Obama and 221 for Romney.

Seventh-grader Alyx Stormes casts her ballot at the Northfield Community School mock election Monday afternoon.

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