SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Kids Pick the President at the Ketchikan Public Library
By Charlotte L. Glover


November 10, 2008
Monday AM

Ketchikan, Alaska - In early October, children from all over Ketchikan began pouring into the public library to vote for President of the United States. The "Kids Pick the President" campaign was the brainchild of annex staff members Vera Freeman and Debbie Gravel. They put hours of work into coming up with a concept, creating a display, making ballots and picking out the special prize for all the participants.

jpg "Kids Pick the President

"Kids Pick the President" at the library.
An unidentified child casting her ballot.
Photograph by Charlotte L. Glover

The voting was open to children ages eighteen and under who could write their first and last name. We wanted the kids to be old enough to understand what they were doing and to recognize that they are learning about our democracy and how elections work.

Press releases went out to all the schools, radio stations and the local newspaper about the program. The children's librarian also made a catchy audio public service announcement for the public radio station which aired frequently.

When children arrived in at the library, they signed in at the library desk in a heavy notebook adorned with numbered spaces and sparkly star stickers on each numbered line.

Once they signed in, the kids were given a ballot made of heavy paper. There was a place on the ballot where children could write in a candidate. The write in's included Ralph Nader, Bob Barr, Joe Jonas, Elmer Fudd and Sarah Palin. Junior High teacher Mr. Pennino also got a shout out which was appropriate since he personally walked 45 kids to the library one rainy day so they could vote.

Library staff created a special voting area in the library, made simply out of hanging crepe paper in a quiet corner where a computer terminal usually sat. Pens and pencils were in ample supply for the voters and no one had to wait more than a few minutes to enter the booth.

After voting, children received a box of Cracker Jacks from the library desk adorned with a custom made "I Voted at the Ketchikan Public Library" sticker with the "Duck for President" logo. The prizes were purchased with Friends of the Library store credits at a local grocery known as the 1% program.

So who won? Barack Obama by two votes! The final tally was 148 to 146 for Mc Cain with 40 write in votes and 6 question ballots. Like the rest of the country, the kids of Ketchikan were looking towards the future with hope in their hearts.



E-mail your news & photos to

Publish A Letter in SitNews         Read Letters/Opinions

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2008
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska