LANCASTER - Election day isn't until next Tuesday, but it came early for the 612 students at Garrard Middle School this week. Sixth through eighth graders took part in a mock election Thursday and today, and one candidate was especially popular among the adolescent crowd.
"Did you vote for the independent dude?" asked Brandee Skaggs of her classmates as she and a handful of others sat on a bench after casting their ballots.
"No, I don't like the independent," replied Austin Rich.
The "independent dude" is Gatewood Galbraith, who is running for Attorney General against Democrat Greg Stumbo and Republican Jack D. Wood.
"He's cool," said one sixth grader. "Because he's gonna make marijuana legal."
Obviously that statement didn't draw the most positive reaction from their teacher, Dawn Simpson.
Teachers do see the importance of the mock election, though. Social studies instructor Donna Snyder organized the election, which had half the school voting on Thursday and the other half today. Results were expected late today or by next Wednesday, when students return following a four-day weekend.