STUDENTS CAST EARLY VOTES - The polls are officially closed and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers students at Fulton Independent have spoken.
Thirty-six students and staff members of Bulldogs Beyond the Bell (B3) went to their own election precinct in the Carr Elementary School cafeteria to cast their votes for president Thursday. Their ballot contained five candidates: Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party; Donald Trump, Republican Party; Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party; and Jill Stein, Green Party. There was also a space on the ballot for voters to write in their choice for president.
The ballot cast by the B3 members was developed online from a list that the majority of polling sites in the United States will use. According to Ballotpedia.Com, the encyclopedia of American politics, the five individuals are the primary candidates because they have been (1) nominated by their party for the presidency and (2) featured in at least three major national polls.
Ballotpedia.Com goes on to state that as of November 1, 2016, a total of 1,780 candidates have filed a Statement of Candidacy with the Federal Election Commission. In order to get on the ballot, a candidate for president of the United States must meet a variety of complex, state-specific filing requirements and deadlines. These regulations, Ballotpedia.Com stated, are known as ballot access laws and determine whether a candidate or party will appear on an election ballot. These laws are set at the state level. A presidential candidate must prepare to meet ballot access requirements well in advance of primaries, caucuses, and the general election.
Other presidential candidates who have made more than 15 percent of general election ballots, but didn’t appear on the B3 ballot, are Darrell Lane Castle, Constitution Party; Rocky De La Fuente, Reform Party; Evan McMullin, Independent; and Gloria Estela La Riva, Party for Socialism and Liberation.
According to the tally taken by B3 Election Commissioner Shane Lalley and certified by B3’s Secretary of State Kim Jobe, Clinton won the group’s election with 15 votes. Trump received nine votes, Johnson received six votes and Stein received one vote.
There were also five write in votes cast by B3 members. The write ins included Bucket, Peppa Pig and former Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. There were also two write ins for Independent candidate Evan McMullin.
After the voters signed their name on the list of qualified B3 voters, they placed their paper ballots in a patriotic ballot box and received a “Voting Counts” or “My Vote Counts” sticker. The group is anxious to see how their election results compare to the nationwide vote Tuesday.