As voters prepared to cast their ballot in the 2012 presidential election this week, students at Arthur Middleton Elementary School were busy holding their own election to combine political events to classroom lessons. The school set up a mock election area in the school's library where students visited during their specials time to cast their own ballot for either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.

All students in grades kindergarten through grade 5 were invited to participate and a mini-lab was set up in red, white and blue decorations and included photos of each candidate. The mock election was coordinated by Karen Ferruzza, media specialist, who used the computer program Studies Weekly to mirror the actual voting process. When voting, students used the computer's mouse to click on the picture of their candidate of choice, and then received an "I voted" sticker.

Middleton Principal Sabrina Robinson-Taylor said the students were excited to participate in the mock election. "We used this election year to take advantage of the opportunity to teach students the importance of having their vote, and their voice, count. It is our hope that students encouraged their parents to vote and the children will realize the importance of voting as young adults," she added.

After the mock election was complete, the student votes were tallied electronically and announced Wednesday morning. Middleton students selected Obama as their president candidate, with votes totaling more than 87 percent in his favor. Robinson-Taylor said the kids cheered with excitement as the results were read aloud for the entire school to hear. "You could hear the loud cheering throughout the building. Many students could not wait to wake up Wednesday to learn if their prediction was correct," she added.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.