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Kids: If I was a voter ...

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

While Isaac Glover might have had some questions for his mom about voting, Amy Glover learned some news she didn't know from her 10-year-old son this morning.

"He informed me that Justin Bieber couldn't vote today," Amy Glover said of the 18-year-old teen idol, "because he's from Canada."

Isaac, a fourth-grader at O'Loughlin Elementary School, was one of several under-18 voters who turned out early this morning to take part in Kids Voting Kansas, a program in which students go to the polls on Election Day with an adult and vote in their own election.

Some older students manning the booth at St. Nicholas of Myra Catholic Church got to vote, even though they have not yet reached their 18th birthday.

Two of those were Rodney Gracas de Deus and Garrett Stoecklein, seniors in Don Hageman's government class at Thomas More Prep-Marian High School.

Deus, a resident student from Louisiana, said he had been to election polls before but never had taken part in a kids election of this type.

Stoecklein voted at one of the Kids Voting booths in Hays in a past election.

"Kids were never able to participate in it before," Stoecklein said. "I remember feeling like an adult when I got to vote."

Students from TMP and Hays High School help with the program in Hays. While those from TMP volunteer at one of the polls in town, several from Abby Maska's HHS government classes will help tally the votes tonight.

Hageman said it's a valuable experience for his students.

"They learn about the (election) process, and it kind of reinforces what I went over with them in class," he said. "They get to see firsthand what we've been talking about."

Amy Glover said she "got the easy shift" of bringing her children to the polls. Her husband, Jacob, was to take their other five youngsters to the polls later today.

"He was excited on the way to school," she said of Isaac. "He got a little nervous, though, because the clock in our Jeep hadn't been changed from Daylight Savings Time. I think it read 7:58, and he thought he wouldn't have time to come vote before school."

Anyone who missed the early-morning sessions for the Kids Voting still has a chance to vote at any poll in town from 3 to 7 p.m.

Results will be tallied and available tonight at www.kidsvotingkansas.org.