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EGS students hold mock election
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An EGS student takes a photo with his tablet computer of the QR code that will unlock his ballot for the schools mock election on Tuesday. - photo by Veronica Coons, Tribune staff

ELLINWOOD — Ellinwood Grade School students participated in a school-wide election Tuesday. While their parents might remember similar election day events from their youth, putting marks on a paper ballot and dropping them in a box, thier offspring took part in a more high-tech experience.
Students were provided with voter ID cards Monday, and were instructed they would need have them checked before they could vote. Carrying their iPad tablets with them to the office, each student checked in with Mary Frakes, one of the schools’ secretaries. Then, they activated the QR code reader application, and received their “I voted!” sticker from Becky Elsen, the other secretary. After a brief wait for their turn to enter the voting booth in Ms. Josserand’s office, students accessed their electronic ballot by taking a photograph of the QR code inside the voting booth area. They then made their choice between the four U.S. Presidential candidates, or wrote in their choice.
“One of my students wrote in Salvador Perez,” said EGS Fifth Grade Teacher Gwen Calcaterra.
Once they made their selections, they reviewed and activated their vote, and left the voting booth.
Monday, Calcaterra’s students researched the candidates, and learned the difference between facts and opinions, she said.
“They hear their parents talk about it so much, and this exercise helps emphasize the importance of voting, and that every vote counts,” she said.
The plan was to announce the winner of their election at the end of the day. On Wednesday, the students will track on a map which states each candidate won, usin the internet and television as their sources.