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Saddle Brook Students Rock The Vote

Saddle Brook students await their turn to vote Tuesday, Oct. 20.
Saddle Brook students await their turn to vote Tuesday, Oct. 20. Photo Credit: Joshua Jongsma
Saddle Brook High School/Middle School Principal John Lawlor talks to students about voting Tuesday, Oct. 20.
Saddle Brook High School/Middle School Principal John Lawlor talks to students about voting Tuesday, Oct. 20. Photo Credit: Joshua Jongsma

SADDLE BROOK, N.J. — Some familiar names greeted Saddle Brook students when they headed to the polls on Tuesday.

Instead of seasoned politicians, they saw the names of their classmates during an exercise to teach them about the voting process. Polling stations such as the ones used in any standard election tracked the votes for student council and officers at Saddle Brook High School/Middle School.

"It just demonstrates the democratic process and students are excited about it," Board of Education President David Gierek. "So I think it's a great idea."

Students from the high school and middle school came class by class and signed in before heading behind the curtains to make their decision.

The polls came as a departure from the normal process of paper ballots, according to Principal John Lawlor. The school partnered with the township -- both the mayor and manager attended the political festivities.

The county provided the polls, according to Lawlor.

Mayor Robert White said town and school officials meet quarterly. During one discussion, they talked about what students don't learn from history class about politics, leading to the hands-on experience.

The mechanical process also allowed for quick results for the students.

"What it does that's great," Lawlor said, "is that they'll experience what they would when they turn 18 and can vote in an actual election."

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