June 5, 2012 - Election Day draws small crowd, civic lesson for Westlake kindergartners
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel
Title: Election Day draws small crowd, civic lesson for Westlake kindergartners
Date: June 5, 2012
By: Jondi Gumz - Santa Cruz Sentinel
SANTA CRUZ - Kindergartners from Westlake Elementary School learned about civic duty on Election Day, visiting a polling place a short walk away at High Street Community Church.
The field trip was organized by teacher Elizabeth Lindsley, who created a "ballot" for her students.
The paper ballot gave them three choices for snacks: An apple or an orange, a round cracker or a square cracker, and sunflower butter, yes or no.
"They learned the word 'vote,'" said election worker Corinne Wipke, who snapped photos of the future voters.
Julie Minnis was among those casting a ballot in person, citing her interest in Measures I and J, the parcel taxes for Santa Cruz City Schools.
"I wouldn't miss it," said Minnis, who taught English at Santa Cruz High School for nearly 30 years. "We have to keep our public education open and accessible. There are so many reasons to vote yes."
In Aptos, Simone Renaud, a native of France, was pleased to exercise her right to vote, which she gained when she became a U.S. citizen in 1995.
"I want to reaffirm my allegiance to the president," she said.
Poll workers described turnout as steady.
"We had five people lined up at 7," said Tod Connor, working the polls at St. John's Church in Felton, where 50 people voted by mid-morning.
"It's enough to keep us busy," said Darren Davison, a poll worker at Temple Beth El in Aptos. "There's nobody waiting in line."
At another polling place, Aegis in Aptos, there were more people in wheelchairs participating in a morning fitness class than voters casting ballots.
Mildred Weifert, a poll worker at the Museum of Art and History in downtown Santa Cruz, noted, "A lot vote by mail now."
In Scotts Valley, supporters of Measure K, a parcel tax for the Scotts Valley school district, stood at the corner of Mount Hermon Road and Scotts Valley Drive with signs reminding people of the election.
Activity at the Scotts Valley community center was "nonstop busy," reported poll worker Marianne Woosley.
Janice Laurent, who arrived on crutches with her left foot in a bootie, came to support the school district measure though she doesn't have children in the schools.
"I never miss voting," she said.
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