St. Martin students cast ballots for favorite presidential candidate

St. Martin students cast ballots for favorite presidential candidate

ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - While many grown-ups are still torn over who to vote for in Tuesday's 2016 presidential election, hundreds of Jackson County kids have already made up their minds.

On Friday, they learned an early lesson in civic responsibility.

"Show them your voter registration and they're going to give you your ticket," a teacher explained to her kindergarten class.

With their crayon-decorated voter registration cards in hand, pint-sized voters entered the patriotic polling station. More than 750 students voted in St. Martin East Elementary's Mock Election. Students had only two choices: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

Jeffrey Windham's social studies and math students took charge, serving as election workers.

"We had to practice a lot. It was kind of crazy, because it gets confusing," said third grader Logan Gonzalez.

The young voters had to do their homework before casting their ballots, from learning about the branches of government to writing persuasive essays about their favorite candidates.

"I voted for Hillary, because if she becomes president, she'll be the first woman to be a president," said third grader Re'Anna Hurd.

"I voted for Donald Trump, because he will invest in missiles in the army and he's a good businessman. He can create jobs," said third grader Elijah Sweeting.

After all the ballots were counted, Donald Trump captured the most votes with 62 percent compared to Hillary Clinton's 38 percent. But, the big winners were the students who got an early election experience.

"The students get left out when their parents go to vote. I remember as a child, my mom got to go in that cool booth and go vote, and I said, 'Man, I'd like to do that' and so I like to make it fun for the kids," said Windham.

More than 28,000 Mississippi students voted in mock elections on Friday. About 49 percent voted for Trump, and 42 percent showed support for Clinton.

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