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Making it count: The children's vote

Parent volunteer Wendy Weeks, left, explains to the class of kindergarteners from Bailey Elementary School how they are to fill out their ballot papers. The students conducted their vote on Election Day, Nov. 4. Staff photo by Louise Ernewein

Barack Obama may be the next President of the United States, but it was John McCain who stole the vote in Liberty Ridge Elementary School.

By just eight votes, the Republican senator won the fourth grade social studies classes' election Nov. 4.

Seventy of the students voted for him, while 62 marked an X by Obama's name.

"It was hard for the students to let it go [the next day]," said fourth grade teacher Joy Hanson.

"They kept talking about their candidate and I had to have talks with them to say it's no longer about 'their' candidate, it's about coming together for the United States.

"It's good to see their passion, but it's hard for them to let go of it now."

In Bailey Elementary, meanwhile, the results of the K-6 grade election reflected the national figures, with Obama receiving 386 student votes and McCain winning 292.

Movie star Adam Sandler received a write-in endorsement from one student, while green party candidate Cynthia McKinney received six votes, and one vote each was cast for independent Ralph Nader and Libertarian Bob Barr.

"We had a really fun day here with the mock election," said Bailey principal Molly Roeske.

"The kids were excited to hear the results. The parent volunteers were great and said it was so much fun to see the students take the election so seriously and show so much effort to follow the voting procedures.

"The 'I voted' stickers combined with the 'I voted' suckers were kind of a hit, too!"

See our website -- -- for a photo gallery of the children's elections at Bailey and Liberty Ridge.