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Lightning donates Voter Guide access for school system's mock election

Polls are open in Henderson County elementary, middle and high schools as students participate in a districtwide mock election organized and sponsored by Students Voting for Democracy.

Students Voting for Democracy is a local coalition comprised of Henderson County public schools, the nonpartisan League of Women Voters Henderson County and Students Voting of Henderson County, collaborating to teach students about local, state and federal government, how to make informed voting decisions and about civic responsibilities.

The Hendersonville Lightning made its 2020 Voter Guide available for all students in the county school system.

"When Hendersonville Middle School teacher Peggy Aubrey asked if we had extra copies available, we said we can do better than that," Lightning publisher Bill Moss said. "We sent Peggy PDFs of all 16 pages of our Voter Guide so she could easily distribute them throughout the school system. We hope the children from kindergarteners to seniors in high school find the Q&As of local candidates useful as they cast their vote."

Following civics and voter information lessons, students have the opportunity to vote on physical or digital ballots featuring age-appropriate selections of candidates and issues.

Grades K-2 will cast votes for U.S. President, grades 3-5 will also vote on North Carolina’s Governor, and grades 6-12 have additional candidate lists, including races for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction and Henderson County School Board.

Anonymous digital ballots for students in grades 3-12 were delivered directly to student email inboxes on Monday. Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students attending school in-person are voting at school, and fully remote K-2 students are receiving their e-ballots from their teachers. Mock election polls close at 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2.

According to Students Voting for Democracy, the in-school election is an opportunity to collaborate to better prepare Henderson County children to exercise their civic responsibilities as adults and to share their experiences with their families, so that the democratic way of government can be sustained and strengthened.

This year is the fourth K-12 in-school election Students Voting for Democracy has hosted, with public school students participating in the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 election years. The mission of Students Voting for Democracy is to secure the future of democracy by engaging kids from Kindergarten through 12th grades in the election process to prepare them for their adult civic responsibilities.