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Norton Elementary School students participate in mock election

Young voters

Adults aren't the only ones voting on Election Day in Alachua County.

In a mock election called "Precinct 345," third, fourth and fifth grade students at Norton Elementary School checked in with their voter registrations, chose candidates in a private booth and deposited their votes in a guarded ballot box.

Fifth grade teacher Shannon Ericson said this wraps up a unit in class on elections and the voting process. This simulation is an educational experience for the next generation of voters.

"We did it in 2008 for the Obama-McCain election, but we want students of every age to understand that we live in a democracy where every vote counts."

Jeffrey Maurer, a Norton fourth grader, said he is excited to vote in class. Maurer said he comes from a home of informed voters.

"I've talked to my parents and stuff, and they've told me a lot about it. They've told me about vice presidents and what the presidents do, and how they help the world or the United States."

Popular vote results from Precinct 345 favored Obama by a wide margin (171 to Romney's 60), though Tuesday's nationwide results are expected to be much closer.

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