Little voters simulate election process at Midlands school - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Little voters simulate election process at Midlands school

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The countdown is on to the November General Election, and there are now less than two weeks to register to vote. However, some elementary school students are already showing older folks how it's done.

Official voter machines are set-up this week at Joseph Keels Elementary School in Northeast Columbia, and all of the students have applied for and received a voter registration card.

Five-year-old Kaiden Foshie already knows the importance of her card. When asked if she could vote without it she said, "No… because they wouldn't let you go in there."

Not only does Foshie know how to vote, but she's also asking for the vote of her fellow classmates as she's running for a Kindergarten Senate seat. Foshie says she told her classmates two things. "I was smart, and I was behaving."

Across the hall at Joseph Keels, aka ‘Bearsville,' Foshie has some competition. Jayda Briggman is also campaigning for a senate seat. "I'm smart, helpful and I'm a good listener," said Briggman.

Briggman and Foshie are two of a handful of Kindergarten candidates. Each grade will get to vote for two class senators, and the entire school will pick a President and Vice-President.

"You have to choose carefully," said 3rd grader Jason Shelton outside of his poll precinct. There are eight precincts set-up around ‘Bearsville,' and just about anyone who saw the process would be impressed.

"We have tried to instill in our students the importance of voting," said Dr. Sonja Parnell, the reading recovery teacher at Joseph Keels. "They have gone through the entire process just like regular voters do."

Students campaigned, filled out a voter registration application, received a voter registration card and had to show it at the polls to get to vote. Students are also using the same machines Richland County voters. The school borrowed the machines from the Richland County Election Commission. "It was cool, because it went faster than like the computer," said Brittany Ivery, a 3rd grade senate candidate.

The winners will be announced Wednesday morning during the school's morning announcements. Administrators say they are hoping that the kids will remember this experience and go with their parents to vote in November."We're hoping the students will look back on this process, and that they will even keep their voter registration cards as a memento and as a sign that they have to continue the voting process when they become of age to vote in the real elections," said Dr. Parnell.

The deadline to register to vote in the ‘real' November General Elections is October 6th. Visit for more information.

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