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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | EAST COUNTY / SIMI VALLEY

400 Youngsters Vote on Mock State Ballot

October 22, 1998|MASSIE RITSCH

Though too young to vote, nearly 400 schoolchildren practiced Wednesday for what will one day become their civic duty.

At the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, fourth- through eighth-grade students from Los Angeles and Ventura counties cast their votes for the California governor and U.S. senator races and on Proposition 8, which reduces class size.

In addition to the balloting, which was not tallied, characters from different periods in U.S. history performed a civics lesson and toured the museum with the children.

With election turnouts at historic lows, especially during off-year elections such as this one, "Your Vote Counts Day" was designed to instill in students the importance of voting and becoming active citizens. They also are encouraged to discuss their experiences at the museum with their parents, organizers said.

"The whole idea really is just to get them used to the idea that in representative government, for it to work, you have to be involved and actually get out and vote," Reagan library Director Mark Hunt said.

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