Middle school kids get taste of democracy with mock vote

BALTIMORE - Voting is a right and a privilege.

That's why there have been long lines at early voting poll sites.

That's why there is also debate, as Americans discuss the issues of the day.

In Maryland there are a lot of questions to answer, and the answers aren't easy and sometimes the debate makes you want to break the other guys arm.

 "We had a week to do our speech and went back and forth with each other yelling at each other and that made if fun." Sixth Grader Isabel Padgett says.

Okay, there was no real arm breaking here, just real thought as the sixth, seventh and eighth graders at City Friends Charter, really got into this project.

The centered on questions four, six and seven with members of the class taking sides./

The guests heard from both sides of issue four, one side of issues seven and the rest they got from websites, commercials and listening to others.

Generally they became informed voters, something that many adults can't say they are right now.

And then the campaigns really got into full swing.

 "You're being mean to the opponent and you don't get in trouble for it....you can tell the biggest lie in the world and it's politics...yeah" Eighth Grader Jacob Sheehan says.

"They go through all this stress and I mean there's a reason for it but they're arguing for something that half the country is probably against or your state or city or wherever you're from. " Student Anjorin Omolola says.

They then got other schools involved, sending letters to principals and teachers to get middle schoolers around the city involved..

Ballots were cast, and tabulated from 28 schools, some with great enthusiasm, and others with less.

And after all the arguing, debating and balloting the results were tallied.

 "Question four one 1750 to 750 against and finally in the presidential part of its president Obama won by a lot. "

By participating in the democratic process you can learn about it.

Campaigning, debating and arguing aside, it all comes down to the ballot.

And how you vote depends on who you are and what you feel your world should be.

"We're interested in politics because it's the future because it involves us our parents make the decision but at the end of the day it affects us and society."  Student Kalil Reid says.

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