Students at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, in Yorktown Heights, New York, have been casting their votes to determine the winner of each presidential election, since 1968, and for the past 48 years, they’ve gotten it right every time.
Every four years, just days before the actual presidential election, the elementary school sets up mock voting booths and invites its students – from kindergarten to fifth grade – to cast their ballot for the candidate that they think would deserve to become president of the United States of America. But it’s the process leading up to the vote that’s genuinely interesting. The students spend months learning about the candidates, who they only know as ‘Candidate A’ and ‘Candidate B’, focusing on policy and real issues, instead of on their personality and popularity. “We talk about exact facts and issues and put them on two sides of a spreadsheet. Then the students debate the facts in class,” principal Patricia Moore says.
Eventually, the kids are told which candidate they had been siding with, and with this last piece of information in mind, they are ready to cast their vote. The same scenario been unfolding every four years since 1968, since Tom McAdams, a fifth-grade social studies teacher initiated the tradition, and the kids have predicted the result of the election every time.