Seven residents with signs Resident voting

DJJ's Student Government Association (SGA) recently conducted its second "mock election," this time for the gubernatorial election in Virginia. There were 134 votes cast, including residents and staff (89 residents and 45 staff).

Planning for the election began weeks beforehand with SGA Executive Team and members of the SGA newsletter committee meeting in consultation with Resident Specialist II and SGA Advisor Franklin Wilkes and Assistant Bon Air Superintendent LeKeisha Henry, Art Instructor Meghan Hamm, Tom Breedlove, Residential Administrative Specialist Patee Brock and Residential Program Manager Shaun Parker. Records and Legal Support Manager Lara Todd and Records and Policy Coordinator Edward Bunting also attended to support the SGA Executive Team’s effort to make the election a success.

The SGA Executive Team viewed TED Talks on the election process and participated in discussions on the Virginia gubernatorial election. They created and distributed educational material to the units as well as hand-held signs to depict aspects of the voting process. Each unit was individually called to the polling place where they voted as they would in their community. The residents first participated in a "circle-up" discussion to explain the process and the importance of voting. They then checked in, received a ballot, and went to a voting booth. Sixteen residents were eligible to vote in the actual election; Wilkes gathered their absentee ballots and delivered them to the Chesterfield County Voter Registrar's office.

"This was a great experience for the residents to really have a chance to do something they might not have ever done if they hadn’t been given the opportunity," Brock noted.

Todd and Burch
Residents with voting signs Resident at ballot box