Students at Coral Springs Elementary School Cast Their Votes

The school held a mock election Thursday

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    With the presidential election only five days away, students at Maplewood Elementary in Coral Springs exercised their "right" to vote Thursday. Fifth-grader Tyler Longo, Principal Sherry Bees and fifth-grade teacher Erika Bretz spoke about their mock election.

    Another long line of voters gathered in South Florida – but these voters were younger than the rest.

    With the presidential election only five days away, students at Maplewood Elementary in Coral Springs exercised their “right” to vote.

    “I’m excited because every vote matters for our country and I love this country and I would love to help it,” fifth-grader Tyler Longo said.

    All of the students won’t actually get to vote until 2020 or later, but having the mock election at their school teaches them how democracy works.

    “Absolutely – it’s starting in the classroom with good teaching and going straight to the polling site,” said Principal Sherry Bees. “And these kids are not learning about the presidents and the election but they’re learning how to be volunteers.”

    About 800 students between kindergarten and the eighth grade participated. After stepping into the booth, making their choices and casting their votes, they were given stickers on the way out.

    “It is very exciting, it is very real. They’re applying all their knowledge to real life,” said fifth-grade teacher Erika Bretz. “They’re actually able to teach their parents, they’ve taught other students, and they are thrilled to be doing this.”

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    Maplewood students will find out who won their presidential vote this week.

    “We’re very excited to not only be a true polling site but an early election site for our kids,” Bees said.

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