HHS holds mock election

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

It was a hands-on experience at the mock election held at HHS on Oct. 4, organized by American Government and Economics teachers Laura Barnes and Dale Massey. It was the second year at HHS for leader Gwen Brown, mother of three and Peer Advocate for Disability Rights and Resources.

Brown presented information to some 250 senior students throughout the day assisted by Kim Melton, chief clerk from Shelby County Probate Office of Judge Fuhrmeister and Allison Boyd, Legal Counsel to the Probate Judge. Actual voting machines were provided.

Students who will be 18 by Nov. 8, were also able to register to vote. Those not yet 18, will be automatically sent voter registration information in the upcoming year.

By a show of hands, several students indicated they had accompanied their parents to vote in the past, but this informative session is designed to help eliminate intimidation when a young person goes to cast his/her first vote.

Students learned that the last day to register is Oct. 24; that Nov. 3 is the last day to vote absentee and that voting requires the show of a driver’s license or ID.

Those with no ID may ask for assistance from a poll worker.

The students received and filled out forms in pen and learned that one must be a U.S. citizen to vote. Brown added that students should confirm their precinct voting site and can learn other important information at: Alabamavotes.gov/

The students were counseled about write-ins.

“Take the right to vote seriously. Don’t decide to just write in Mickey Mouse because you don’t like the candidates. This is not a joke.”

Via overhead presentation, the students used kahoot.it to learn additional facts, such as how many amendments are on the ballot; how many Electoral votes in Alabama; and if one may take a sample ballot with personal notes on it when actually voting.

Students were also encouraged to consider signing up to be poll workers on Election Day. Some do, then report back to their classrooms about their experience.