Katara Simmons/News-Sun Freshman D.J. Taylor displays his ÔI Voted' sticker on his shirt Tuesday morning during an election for homecoming king and queen at Sebring High School.
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published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
SHS enlists elections office help for homecoming vote
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING -- Homecoming is serious business to high schoolers. And Tuesday's homecoming court election at Sebring High School got serious treatment as a result, right down to the "I Voted" stickers.
Unlike elections in previous years, this school year's homecoming election was executed and assisted by the Highlands County Supervisor of Elections office. Elections office volunteer Roy Wright, who has worked with the office since 2008, said that this is the first time the school has ever done an election in this manner.
"The school contacted (Supervisor of Elections) Mrs. (Penny) Ogg about a month ago. She had come to the school earlier this year for voter outreach and civic outreach to some of the government classes. A couple of the instructors spoke to her about getting our help this year because there are so many students," Wright said.
A handful of electronic ballot scanners were set up on tables in the rear of the SHS's Smith Center. Five elections office volunteers oversaw the ballot reading throughout the morning.
"We have programmed the election. After the ballots are all cast we tabulate each machine and we'll give the results to the school. Our part is done then. We won't have anything to do with how they give out the results," said Wright.
Groups of students -- there were 1,647 eligible voters -- flooded into the Smith Center just before 10 a.m. Tuesday. Each student presented school administrators with their student identification card in his or her corresponding line depending on the first letter of the student's last name, just like at regular polling places.
Once the ballots were picked up and names checked off the list, the students moved on to a table where they bubbled in their selection on a long ballot. The ballots were similar in shape and size to local and national elections, only much more basic. Students then proceeded to the next station, the ballot machines, where the elections office volunteers instructed them to enter the ballots face up into the machine for processing.
"Here's your sticker," said volunteer Giselle Acevedo to students.
Students were given the standard "I Voted" sticker following their ballot being placed in the box after it had been scanned.
The elections office was given 90 minutes to implement and complete the election. The students were broken into groups according to their teacher's classroom as they entered the Smith Center to vote.
A mix of freshmen and seniors were among the first two groups to enter the election area Tuesday, all enthusiastic about their first-ever electronic voting experience.
The experiment went smoothly for the school for its inaugural run.
(by: JR - 10/24/2013)
I think the i.d. required is a way to simulate an authentic voting process they will experience (hopefully) when they become of age. I think this is a great way to get a taste of adulthood and definitely not a waste of time!
Millie (by: Me - 10/24/2013)
They kids all wear a picture id at school. Have to have id to buy alcohol, cash a check, license to drive....why not to vote?
(by: Millie - 10/23/2013)
Why would they try to disenfranchise some of the children by requiring identification to vote? If they came to school they have to know they are all students. What an insult an waste of time.
(by: sandy kessler - 10/23/2013)
very cool idea
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