Written by Gabrielle Reule, Minnesota School of Business-Lakeville and Shakopee Legal Program Chair
On Nov. 6, 2012, six paralegal students from Shakopee and Lakeville Minnesota School of Business campuses volunteered for Kids Voting of Shakopee. The main purpose of Kids Voting is to prepare and motivate future voters. To read more about the history and purpose of Kids Voting, visit the Shakopee Kids Voting website.
The Kids Voting procedure was set up similar to the regular process. The kids who accompanied their parents to vote on Election Day were directed to their own area to vote. Upon arrival at the Kids Voting table, they signed a sheet identifying their age and school and were given a ballot with all the same candidate options as the regular ballot. Next, they took the ballot to individual voting booths where they filled in their choices (without the help of their parents or Kids Voting staff). Once they finished filling in the ballots, they slipped them into a ballot box and were given a “Kids Voting I Voted” sticker. Some of the participants were even given extra credit by their teachers for taking part in Kids Voting.
Lead volunteer, Rachel Jacques, had the following to say about her experience volunteering for Kids Voting:
“I am glad that I had the opportunity to volunteer and lead the Louisville Township precinct for Kids Voting. The Kids Voting chair ladies made this a memorable and great experience. Their time and dedication to the training of each lead volunteer paid off. I felt prepared after leaving the meeting and knew exactly what I needed to do when I arrived on Election Day.
“The day itself was a blast. It was great to be able to interact with the kids at Kids Voting. I was surprised by the number of students that came out to vote with their parents. I was even more surprised when parents would drop their children off simply so that their kids could have the chance to vote. This, to me, proved just how much of a successful and appreciated event Kids Voting really is.
“Throughout the day kids would make comments about how fun it was to be able to vote. The parents would mention not only how fun it is for the kids to be able to vote in a mock election like this, but that it was good practice for them in the future when their vote really counts.
“Another thing that surprised me about the Kids Voting is how the other staff members would actually show the results of the kids’ election. By doing this, it really showed the students that their vote does count even in a mock election like this one. It was a joy to take part in the experience and to meet new and exciting people in the process.”
AND THE WINNER IS… After counting the votes in all the precincts in the Shakopee area, the Kids Voting winner was Mitt Romney with 51.2% of the vote. To see a breakdown of the Election Results by precinct, visit the website and click on Election Results.