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Rockin' the Vote: Cooper Elementary 4th Graders Exercise the Franchise During Class Elections - from The Messenger

October 6, 2018

student speaking at podium

The ballot boxes have all been unstuffed, campaigning suspended, posters will come down from the hall and winners declared after a hectic afternoon of checking chads in the annual student council election at Cooper Elementary School Friday afternoon.

After a week of making posters that included such colorful slogans as “I will give you change that makes cents,” the candidates got to speak directly to the voters in an appeal for votes.

After “Hail to the Chief,” the oration began.

Conrad Greathouse, 10, pointed out that he does indeed, follow the rules. Something that as president, will be important.

“I keep my hands and feet to myself,” he said. “I will help kids learn new things. I will go to the Boosters Club and ask them to buy new equipment to help each other get better at sports.”

students filling out ballots sitting at desks

He also threw his support behind another candidate running for secretary.

“Also,” he said. “Vote for Bo Marsh for secretary.”

Kingston Phillips ran on a platform that almost everyone liked.

“We need more recess,” he said.

For the position of treasurer, Izzy Prather believes she has exactly what it takes to do the job and do it well.

“I show that by babysitting my siblings,” she said. “They’re 2 and 4 and they get kind of bratty. I love math and I’m also good at it.”

Her argument proved convincing. She won the treasurer’s seat — by one vote.

Danica Calahan, also a candidate for treasurer, got right to the point.

“I will count the money we get,” she said. “I’ll count it correctly.”

Taylor Charlson, who may have a promising career in politics, explained his qualifications, then assured everyone he won’t be slipping anything under the table if they vote for him, wink, wink.

“I won’t say I’ll give you a candy bar every day if you vote for me.” he said.

The winning candidate for secretary, Bo Marsh, may have won not only based on support from Greathouse, but also by his skills with a pencil, notepad, efficiency and stamina.

“I will keep the council on track,” he said. “I will keep great notes and write neatly. I do not get tired when I do it.”

Marsh had a unique, well sort of unique, slogan on his poster.

“I’ll write the notes if you give me the votes,” he said.

He did admit, it may have been “borrowed.”

“My mom found it on Pinterest,” he said.campaign posters created by 4th graders running for student council office

While the election is non-partisan, the rivalry between fourth-grade classrooms served as a substitute for the adults’ red versus blue.

Rick Halligan, who teaches on the left, or right side of the hall depending on which direction one is approaching the door from, claims it was all on the other side of the aisle in Carol Tell’s classroom.

“It was all over there.” he said.

Tell admitted there may have been some irregularity.

“There was an attempt at bribery,” she said, explaining that the evidence for the lollipops and candy coins were “missing.”

“They had to eat it right away,” she said.

Tell believes that Halligan may be stretching it a bit.

“My class may have given out candy but his class gave out stickers, but it happened in the hallway before classes.” she said.

The alleged bribery was denied by school Principal Bruce Hartley.

“I don’t think there was any bribery or illegal practices,” he said. “This is an official election.”

No election is complete without some attempt to predict the outcome.

Jesse Beckman, whose son Joshua Beckman was a candidate for secretary, informally learned it was too close to call.

“I went and asked the kids at lunch,” he said. “I think it’s about even.”

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