The minimum voting age in Florida may be 18. But, that didn’t stop younger students in Naples from casting REAL ballots on Tuesday. For several years, the Collier County supervisor of elections has infused a statewide reading program with an additional civics lesson.
As part of the Sunshine State Young Readers program, students choose from a list of 15 books, read one or more of them, and then vote for their favorites. That’s where elections officials come in. Education Coordinator Cyndi Young says she brought real touch-screen machines into Seagate Elementary School in Naples… and let youngsters cast ballots.
“They see how the system works. They become comfortable with it. Any fears that they have—it takes them away. If fact, some of the students had gone with their parents to the polls on election day—which is allowed in Florida. And now they can share the experience that they voted on the machines, too.”
Kids who read all 15 books got to serve as poll workers. The author of the winning book will be honored at the National Conference of the Florida Reading Association.
Wednesday, 30 March 2005 01:00