NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA– Over these past few weeks, hundreds have turned out to vote in unprecedented new ways across the country.
Today is election day at New Orleans Adventist Academy in New Orleans East. For about a week, a bright pool of 23 voters between the ages of four and 14 have researched both of the presidential candidates of 2020, including platforms and policies.
Carla Drake is the principal and says, “I felt that the children should know the process. Some of their parents have taught them about voting and some of them didn’t have any idea of how it worked. Some of them complained because the lengthy process, however I explained to them that it is important to vote because people have fought and some have lost their lives for a chance at it. It is a fundamental right of this country.”
The children went through quite a bit of the real process of voting, including filling out voter registration cards, checking ballots that had information on candidates, millages and propositions.
New this year for all voters across the country were the widespread mail-in ballots because of the dangers of COVID-19. As many children are still learning virtually, there was even a virtual student that was able to participate in the mock voting demonstration, with a mail-in ballot addressed to New Orleans Adventist Academy. The overall goal, was to have a bit of fun and reinforce a voting culture for the future.
“My mom, my grandma, my grandpa, and my sisters vote. That is why I am here today voting,” says one of the students in the third grade.
One of the ways the teachers taught the kids about the three branches of government was in using a real branch with the three labels of Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary written on them.
Whether the kids knew it or not, the choices made by the 18 and over voters across country set the tone for future generations just like theirs. Therefore, practice makes perfect, until the day the young men and women at New Orleans Adventist Academy can cast their votes in a future election and take on the reigns of the free world themselves.
“I want this to be something that they will have and embrace for the rest of their lives because we don’t want them to just do this today. We want them to continue to vote and be a registered voter when they turn 18 and when they get out into the real world.”
In case you are wondering who carried the vote of children at New Orleans Adventist Academy, it was Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.