Children cast own votes in Plymouth
As the children of Plymouth go, so goes the nation.
With one precinct still uncounted, Barack Obama racked up 1,614 votes from Plymouth children last Tuesday, while John McCain got 1,296.
The children went to the polls thanks to Kids Voting Plymouth, which introduces students to the basics of democracy. Before Election Day, students received classroom lessons on voting, and parents were encouraged to take their children last Tuesday to the polling places, where special booths were set up for the kids. Anyone younger than 18 was eligible to vote.
The local group is part of Kids Voting USA, a national nonprofit started in Arizona in the 1980s by two businessmen. The pair had visited Costa Rica and discovered that voter turnouts are very high because parents take their children with them when they vote, according to Dave Kindy, who helped organize this year's Plymouth program. Children have voted in Massachusetts elections since 1996; this year, schools in Braintree and Stoughton also participated.
At the Plymouth Community Intermediate School, Cheryl Tupper's kids, Rachel Borghesani, 10, Alison Borghesani, 8, and Brian Borghesani, 7, knew how they wanted to vote. They also figured they knew who would win.
"I told them, 'You never know who's going to win. That's why you have to vote,' " Tupper said.
"It shows them how every vote counts."