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Kristi Bartz helps her kids Hannah, Benjamin and Ava vote at the Columbus Library on Nov. 6. Maddie LaPlante smiles at her own ballot in the background.

Most people think about books and story time for kiddos when they think about libraries. Yes, libraries certainly have books and are committed to helping develop early literacy skills for the little ones in our community. Learning letters isn’t the only kind of literacy being developed in children at your Columbus Public Library, though. This past week, the library held a very successful Kids Vote program on Election Day, helping develop kids’ skills as citizens in a participatory democracy.

After voting themselves, parents and caregivers were encouraged to bring their kids to the library for a Kids Ballot. In addition, some classes at Columbus Elementary and Discovery Charter School voted via absentee ballot during the school day. Through the library’s Kids Vote election, kids learned that voting is a way to voice their opinion and help create change! Kids had their own polling booth where they voted for which children’s character favorites should be in government offices like governor, state senate, and county sheriff. To help kids see the true power of voting, there was a special referendum on the ballet, “What toys should be on the toy table for the month of November?” The dinosaurs won in a landslide as the kid’s choice and in a tight race for county sheriff, Dog Man beat out Poppy Troll by 1 percent of the votes.

Here are the results of Kids Vote 2018: Governor/Lieutenant Governor: Elephant and Piggy; Attorney General: Albus Dumbledor; Secretary of State: Curious George; State Treasurer: Scrooge McDuck; U.S. Senator: Pete the Cat; WI District 6 Representative: Pikachu; County Sheriff: Dog Man; Toy table referendum: Dinosaurs.

This year’s Kids Vote was a resounding success that is sure to be repeated for future elections. Columbus is growing engaged citizens one kid at a time.