When you go to vote on Election Day, don't be surprised if there's a 10-year-old at the polls contemplating some of the same issues.
Santa Cruz County Clerk/Elections has partnered with the 4th through 8th grade classes at Tierra Pacifica Charter School in Live Oak for the November 6, 2012 Presidential Election to offer kids in grades K –12 a chance to vote on real issues with real ballots. The Kids Vote teacher coordinator, Justin Trinh-Halperin, has been teaching his students about the elections process since school started this fall. The classes have assembled Kids Vote packets for all of the 140 voting precincts in Santa Cruz County and will tally the kids’ votes after the polls close at 8 p.m. on November 6.
Young people in Kindergarten through 12th grade will have the opportunity to cast their vote for President. The candidates' name, party affiliation and picture are provided on the ballot to assist in the selection process.
Other issues on the Kids Vote 2012 ballot, which are separated into age-appropriate categories, include 8 of the 11 state propositions on the ballot, as well as U.S. Senator. The goal of the program is to make voting a family experience, according to the Santa Cruz County Clerk/Elections Department. It is also a great way to teach young people about the importance of voting.
Students do not need to register prior to going to the polls to vote. Each of the county's 140 voting precincts, as well as the County Clerk/Elections Department and Watsonville City Hall will have Kids Vote 2012 Ballots available. The students must be accompanied by an adult in order to vote. The adult who accompanies the child does not have to be a registered voter.
Results of Kids Voting will be posted after November 6 on the Santa Cruz County Clerk/Elections Department's website at www.votescount.com and are kept separate from the county’s official certified vote totals. For more information, please call the Santa Cruz County Clerk/Elections Department at 831-454-2060 or visit our website at www.votescount.com