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Lincoln Intermediate students holding caucus

From dividing up for various candidates, to debating, 6th graders are getting a feel for what goes into a caucus

Posted: Jan 30, 2020 11:34 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Thanks to a new law in Iowa, if you turn 18 before the next general election, you can not only register to vote when you're 17, but also participate in the caucus.

And while 6th graders at Lincoln Intermediate School are not legally allowed to vote yet, a mock caucus is showing students what the real deal is like.

Walk into Josh Reuter and Ashley Kofoed's classrooms, and you'll see a lot of discussion, with students encouraging one another to vote for their candidate. From dividing up for various candidates, then slimming down to just two, and even debating, these students are deciding who will represent the Democratic Party in their own election Friday.

For Blair Smith, she's backing Pete Buttigieg.

"He was a former mayor in Indiana, so he knows how to run an office."

Alexandrea Paulino also got an insight into how a caucus works.

"I think it's interesting to see what the real world's dealing with. I also like learning what other people's opinions are."

She initially pulled for Andrew Yang, but since he didn't receive enough votes, she had to switch to another candidate, one that pays attention to issues she cares about, like education and the environment.

"I saw Pete [Buttigieg]'s side, and he also has good intentions, so I went over to Pete's."

For Kofoed, she's bringing some of her caucusing experience to provide a simulation of what to expect.

"I want them to learn how to research, how to fact check, how to speak to someone civilly. A lot of times, what I'm seeing as an adult, is we're not doing that with each other."

In just her first year of teaching at Lincoln, Kofoed felt that the caucus went off without a hitch, and finds it necessary for her students to get politically involved.

"I feel that they are the next generation that is going to take our country to the next level, and they should be informed of what their President, even if they can't vote, has on the agenda and what they want for our country."

And if political discussion isn't going on at home, she encourages families to do it.

"It not only brings conversation to our classroom, but it also brings a dynamic of, 'what are you hearing, what are you not hearing? Where can I help you so you can understand it better?'"

Students will get to vote between President Trump and Buttigieg during class on Friday. In addition, they will be monitoring the results of the Iowa Caucuses on Monday.

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Otter Tail314322
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Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 227398

Reported Deaths: 2368
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33642336
Linn14352165
Scott1124986
Black Hawk10893135
Woodbury10372126
Johnson955336
Dubuque923291
Story678822
Dallas637257
Pottawattamie631970
Sioux370325
Webster358535
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Marshall348546
Clinton331344
Buena Vista305414
Des Moines291520
Muscatine289268
Warren281914
Plymouth276042
Wapello255772
Jones232313
Jasper217944
Marion205320
Lee203917
Carroll198422
Bremer195212
Henry18307
Crawford174616
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Tama154340
Jackson144613
Delaware144221
Washington141314
Dickinson139210
Boone137011
Mahaska126827
Wright12456
Clay11784
Buchanan117010
Hardin115810
Page11374
Hamilton11199
Clayton11175
Cedar108413
Harrison107729
Kossuth10667
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Lyon10338
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Poweshiek99313
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