LOGANSPORT — More than 30 children, carrying laminated ID cards with their picture and their first name, lined up to register to vote during a field trip to a mock voting center set up Wednesday morning at the Cass County Government Building — nearly all of them several years away from their first real election.
The group of home-schooled children from Logansport and the surrounding area filled out voter registration forms, received voting PIN numbers from a county clerk’s assistant acting as a pollworker, and voted on the county’s electronic voting machines. They chose classmates for categories like prettiest eyes, fastest eater and most organized.
They were “silly questions,” said Cara Mills, a Walton instructor for the Logansport Homeschool Cooperative’s third- through fifth-grade history class, but the process the children were studying was anything but.
Home-schooled students in third through 12th grades, members of three cooperative classes, visited with Cass County Clerk Beth Liming for about two hours on Wednesday to see the voting process first-hand and participate in a mock election. They’re some of the 80 students enrolled in the cooperative.
Liming said they were the first student group she’s had for a mock voting day in her four years as clerk, but the event was worth every minute of the two to three hours spent preparing for their visit and the time spent explaining voting rules and what would be different in a real voting scenario — even during her office’s busy election season.
“It’s very, very important that they learn some of this process at an early age,” Liming said. “Even if they pick up and learn one thing, it’s worth it.”
Mills, who organized the field trip, said her first time voting intimidated her. Even though her mother had been a poll worker, she had never seen inside a voting booth and was unsure what to do.