Jacksonville middle school students to cast ballots in mock election

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Students at New Bridge Middle School in Jacksonville may be too young to vote, but that’s not stopping them from casting their ballots this year.

The middle schoolers spent weeks learning about the election process, covering everything from requirements for president to the candidates’ platforms. Classes even held mock debates.

“They had a special chart that I set up for them with eight issues; anywhere from gun control to economy and jobs,” said Ryan Laurie, a seventh-grade social studies teacher. The students could then pick a platform they wanted to focus their votes on.

Students could even get their names on the ballot by running for student council.

Eighth-grader Carson Jones said his experience running for student president has taught him a lot about what it takes to run for the nation’s highest office.

“We made a speech, and we’re presenting it to our students,” said Jones. “That’s similar to the presidential debate; how they talk to citizens.”

Jone’s opponent, Jaedah Hines, said the experience has taught her to not take voting lightly.

“My vote will count,” said Jines. “I would feel really bad if I didn’t vote because when things started happening I know that I couldn’t say anything about it because I didn’t vote.”

Students filled out registration cards and headed to the polls at the school’s media center.

“It’s all about being a responsible citizen,” said Laurie. “The more that they learn; the more they understand the importance of voting; the more they’ll want to get out and vote.”

The results of the election will be announced tomorrow after all students have voted.

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