STA Students Embrace Authentic Voting Experience
Posted on 04/30/2024
St. Thomas Aquinas High School took a bold step towards promoting student democracy in this year’s Student Council elections by incorporating the same voting machines that are used in local, state, and federal elections. This initiative, in collaboration with the Middlesex County Board of Elections, aimed to provide future voters with an authentic voting experience from beginning to end by allowing students to cast their votes using the same equipment used in official elections, thus combining an exercise of democracy with a learning experience about the electoral process.

As with all elections, the process began long before election day. After fulfilling the eligibility and application process, Student Council candidates spent weeks campaigning with social media posts, leaflets, posters, stickers, and speeches. On election day, the candidates made their final appeals to student voters before the polls opened. Turnout and enthusiasm among student voters were both exceptionally high, and the electronic voting machines received positive reviews.

"Using the voting machines for the first time was an interesting experience and gave me real-life experience that will help me when I’m old enough to vote," said junior Gianna Arduini.

The decision to utilize real voting machines reflects STA's commitment to fostering an environment where students are educated about civic duties and are actively engaged in the democratic process. By providing access to authentic voting technology, the school aims to empower students to become informed and active participants in shaping their school community.

"We believe that it’s important for students to understand the significance of their voices and the power of their votes," said Mike Kowalczyk, Student Council Advisor at STA. "By incorporating real voting machines and electoral processes into our Student Council election, we are not only educating students about how elections work but also instilling in them a sense of civic duty and responsibility."

Moving forward, St. Thomas Aquinas High School remains dedicated to providing opportunities for students to actively participate in democratic processes and to become informed and engaged citizens.