04 Nov Our own Advent School election
How and why Advent created a school-wide election to encourage intentional and important conversations in the classroom
The “Name the Advent Lion” challenge and election first came up as the Community Connections Committee brainstormed ways to connect our School community during this time. We knew that this school year would feel different with all the new health and safety protocols and that we would need to find new ways for our community to feel connected. The idea to create an Advent School Post Office and then to have a “Name the Lion” election came from these discussions.
With this year being an election year, we also thought the “Name the Advent Lion” challenge would be a good way to talk about elections with all students in the School. It would give all students a chance to vote and participate in an election. Classes are talking about voting and elections in various ways that are appropriate for the grade level.
We decided to offer a mail-in ballot as this is something many people are doing for the presidential election and we wanted to give students insight into mail-in voting.
One of our First Grade classrooms asked to vote in person so they could talk more about what in-person voting looks like and explore issues like voting wait time and voter suppression. For this class, we arranged in-person voting, with an election official, Manager of Strategic Partnerships Amber Lowe, on Thursday, October 22.
Finally, we decided to introduce ranked-choice voting to our students by having a ranked-choice ballot for the Name the Lion election. A ranked-choice voting system allows voters to rank candidates by preference and is viewed as a more democratic option for voting. As FairVote explains, “If no candidate has a majority in first-choices, the candidates in last place will be eliminated one-by-one. If a voter’s first choice is eliminated, their vote instantly goes to their second choice. That way, we can find out which of the top candidates has real majority support.” We felt that a ranked-choice ballot would ensure that the name that is selected for the Advent lion is a name that most students liked (e.g., it was their first or second choice).
And the winner is…. PRIDE!
After three rounds of ranked-choice ballot counts, the name “Pride” won with 54% of the vote.