Miller Middle School students got to participate in the democratic process Tuesday by having a mock election for local officials and the president of the United States.
“It’s a good way to learn about government, to familiarize the students with the voting process and to encourage them,” said Principal Regina Gilyard-Thomas. “Voting is a right we have.”
She said students in grades six through eight have spent time in their social studies classes learning about the election process.
Putnam County Supervisor of Elections Charles Overturf III brought voting equipment for the students to use in casting their ballots.
“We are able to program the machines for school voting events such as homecoming, and any other general elections,” Overturf said.
He said he hopes introducing the students to the voting process will encourage them to vote in the future when they are legally old enough to do so.
That’s exactly how seventh-grader Samuel Louder felt about the experience.
“It’s cool!” he said. “It makes me feel prepared for what it’s going to be like to vote later.”
Reagan Gardner, also in seventh grade, said she was already familiar with how the voting process works. “I go with my mom when she votes, so it’s cool that I get to do it, too.”
Overturf said Miller Middle was the first of several Putnam Schools where the Supervisor of Elections Office will facilitate elections this year. That includes elections for homecoming court at Palatka High School next week and student council at several schools.