West Elementary School fifth graders went to the polls Monday to elect a mayor of BizTown.
Scarlett Chadwell, BizTown sponsor and fifth-grade teacher, invited the Wilson County Election Commission to provide voting machines for students to use in their election.
The fifth-graders mounted campaigns complete with posters, speeches and voter registration drives. Four students volunteered to serve as poll officials. As the students brought their mock voter registration cards with them, their names were looked up on a list and marked “voted” before being allowed to vote. Students cast votes for their favorite candidate by voting on the same machines that Wilson County voters will use on Election Day and during early voting this summer.
Four students, Corbin Alexander, Weston Knott, Kasey Lane and Isaac Moore ran for mayor. In a close contest, Alexander came out on top. One of Alexander’s teachers, Cari Ambruster, said, “He has a very dynamic personality with a huge heart and lots to offer the world.”
BizTown is a program affiliated with Junior Achievement. The program allows elementary school students to operate banks, manage restaurants, write checks and vote for mayor. The program helps students connect the dots between what they learn in school and the real world.
“We are always eager to bring real world voting experiences to students,” said Phillip Warren, administrator of elections. “Understanding how elections work and participating as voters and candidates is a valuable lesson for these students. These are the future voters and leaders of Wilson County.”
Tammy Smith, assistant administrator of elections, said,” It is a pleasure to work with teachers willing to provide their students with the BizTown program. Ms. Chadwell dedicates many extra hours to her teaching workload as the Biz Town sponsor.”
To learn more about what programs and presentations are available about elections, voting and election administration, visit wilsonelections.com or call the Wilson County Election Commission at 615-444-0216.