NewsCovering Colorado


Local teacher is hoping to educate future voters

Local teacher is hoping to educate future voters
Posted at 9:04 PM, Oct 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-26 23:04:11-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — A teacher at Falcon School District 49 is teaching students how to be informed voters during the upcoming election. Although most of her students aren’t old enough to vote, they're still eager to learn about the electoral process and how it works.

Theresa James is a Social Studies teacher at Vista Ridge High School, and she teaches freshmen, juniors, and seniors. With the general election just a few weeks away, she began with a lesson on the importance of voting.

“Even if they can't participate, I want them to get in the habit of actually looking into information because I want their voice to matter,” said James.

This week, all of her students are researching for the upcoming election. The class spent two days researching and learning at least one fact about every ballot measure and initiative, and candidates.

“They're really getting into the research, and the conversations that I hear them having with their peers while they're sitting there looking at things on the computer. Like they're fascinated by some of what they read what they see,” said James.

In the next week, they'll be doing a mock election where they'll vote for candidates they like and measures they approve. Once the election happens on November 8th, they'll compare the classroom's votes to how people in Colorado actually voted.

“I always pose questions to my students while we're going over results like, ‘why do you think it's this way? And why do you vote the way that you do on these issues? How does it impact you or influence your life?” said James.

James said it’s also important for her to have the students do their own research and letting them figure out what they want to believe in.

One of her students is Antwaan Hines, a senior at Vista Ridge High School. He said although he’s still too young to vote, “I think it is useful to just be able to at least talk about it, maybe with friends or family or in class. I just think it's a good thing to talk about it.”

Hines says he knew about the election process but wasn’t too familiar with it. Although he can’t vote in the upcoming election, he says it helps to still be informed.

“I want to be able to help make the state as best as it can, or at least try to. I know that some of my friends who are able to vote are pretty excited about being able to help make that change,” said Hines.

Historically, youth voter turnout has been low. According to the Secretary of State's Office, more than 1 million ballots were casts in the election earlier this year, and less than 50,000 of those ballots were from voters under the age of 24.


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