Okaloosa Students Exercise Their Right to Vote

Okaloosa County School District students had the chance to exercise their right to vote on Tuesday in the presidential election through the Kids Vote, Too and Teens Vote, Too programs. These programs are dedicated to building and reinforcing a life-long interest and habit in voting by conducting mock internet elections in all Okaloosa County Public Schools during Presidential and Gubernatorial election years. The Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux and the Okaloosa County School District manage the programs.

Students in grades K – 5 had the chance to vote for President/Vice President, United States Senator, Representative in Congress District 1, County Commissioner District 1, and for several key local issues. For complete voting results by school and for the District, visit http://www.kidsvote-okaloosa.com/votingresults.php.

“It gives the children a chance to see what the voting process is like and see what their parents go through when they go to vote,” said Lynda Cihanowic, a second grade teacher at Riverside Elementary School and Kids Vote, Too Coordinator. “It makes them aware of the different civics in government and our country and why we are so lucky to have the freedom to vote and decide on who we would like to see in office.”

To prepare for Election Day, Cihanowic attended a workshop earlier in the year to learn what to do and how to run the election in her school.

“I got several teachers to help me and our wonderful volunteers here at Riverside to do it so that I could be in the classroom,” said Cihanowic. “It’s a lot of work to man the polls and make sure that everything runs smoothly. So far it is going really well.”

Giordano Capotosto a 4th grader at Antioch Elementary School said that it is important to vote so “you can choose your own president and other people like that so you know who you voted for and who should be picked.”

“We need to vote for the people who are going to run our country and every single persons vote counts,” said Haley Peters a 5th grade student at Riverside Elementary School.

“I would think that everyone’s vote should count,” said Dylan Keith, a 4th grade student at Antioch Elementary School. “But no, the kid’s votes do not really count. You have to be 18 or older to vote.”

Kids Vote, Too is helping to prepared students to vote in the future.

“Now I know a little bit about who to vote for and where to find information about that person,” said Dimitri Toran, a 4th grade student at Antioch Elementary School. “It is very important to research candidates because you do not want to pick the wrong person to vote for.”

“I learned that when you vote you can see who you voted for and see if they win because you voted for them,” said Haiden Harper, a 4th grade student in Randy Teal’s class at Antioch Elementary School.

“Our teachers have done a wonderful job,” said Alice Thomas, the Remediation Teacher and Coordinator of the Kids Vote, Too program for Antioch Elementary School. “We are educated little voters here.”

Antioch Elementary School did not schedule their classes to vote.

“Antioch is Precinct 1, you go and you may wait in line or you may go right through just as you would at the polls,” said Thomas. “We did some early voting yesterday and we tried to duplicate the process so that our children would be educated little voters and familiar with the process once they got to be 18 and could vote.”

Grades K-5 Results: 12,008 Voters

Mitt Romney – 6,042 (50.77%)
Barack Obama – 4,717 (39.64%)

Should you be allowed to chew gum during FCAT testing?

No - 6,760 (58.4%)
Yes – 4,816 (41.6%)

Would you like to wear a school uniform every day?

No – 8,269 (71.51%)
Yes – 3,295 (28.49%)

What class would you rather have?

Art – 4,914 (42.31%)
Technology – 3,213 (27.67%)
Music – 2,2128 (18.32%)
Foreign Language – 1,358 (11.69%)

Students in grades 6 - 8 had the chance to vote for President/Vice President, United States Senator, Representative in Congress District 1, County Commissioner District 1, and for several key local issues. For complete voting results by school and for the District, visit http://www.kidsvote-okaloosa.com/votingresults.php.

Caitlin Nagy, a sixth grade student of Jonathan Olson’s at Davidson Middle School said that it is important to vote “so that we can all be heard for who we think should be president.”

Olivia Eslinger, also a sixth grader at Davidson Middle School she got prepared to vote by “listening to the news to see what all the candidates did.”

“It was easy to vote,” said Braeden Sevy, a sixth grader at Davidson Middle School. “We got to experience how to vote except we used a computer instead of writing it down.”

Grades 6-8 Results: 5,842 Voters

Mitt Romney – 3,393 (58.2%)
Barack Obama – 2,055 (35.25%)

Should students be allowed to use personal electronic devices in the classroom?

Yes – 5,104 (87.89%)
No – 703 (12.11%)

Would you prefer to go to a year-round school system?

No – 4,665 (80.26%)
Yes – 1,147 (19.74%)

Should each school day be extended by one hour Monday through Thursday to have Fridays off?

Yes – 4,392 (75.41%)
No – 1,432 (24.59%)

Students in grades 9 - 12 had the chance to vote for President/Vice President, United States Senator, Representative in Congress District 1, County Commissioner District 1, Constitutional Amendments number 8 and 11, and for several key local issues. For complete results, visit http://www.teensvote-okaloosa.com/votingresults.htm.  

Grades 9-12 Results: 5,216 Voters

Mitt Romney – 2,978 (57.3%)
Barack Obama – 1,644 (31.63%)

Should it be a violation of Florida law to talk or text while driving, unless it’s a hands-free device?

Yes – 3,812 (73.73%)
No – 1,358 (26.27%)

Should offshore oil drilling be allowed within 50 miles of the Florida coastline?

No – 3,876 (75.07%)
Yes – 1,287 (24.93%)

Should high school have a later start time, which would cause a later release time?

No – 3,357 (64.79%)
Yes – 1,824 (35.21%)

For more information, please visit http://www.kidsvote-okaloosa.com or http://www.teensvote-okaloosa.com.

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