Mr. Russell’s Classroom: Take A Field Trip To The Polls

In Monday’s Mr. Russell’s Classroom on QC Morning, there was a field trip to talk about Democracy.  The location of the field trip was at a polling location in the University area. We saw people stand in line waiting to vote. There are 33 early polling locations in Mecklenburg County where people can cast their ballots before Election Day. Current member of the NC State Board of Education and former Social Studies Teacher James E. Ford joined us on the field trip.  He shared the importance of voting. He also defined the word of the day – Democracy.

“What you need to know is that Greek word – Democracy,” NC State Board of Education Member James E. Ford said.  “Actually comes from a word that means people power. So what you’re seeing is the people exercising their power to determine who are the influencers and who are the elected officials who make decisions on their behalf.”

Ford also shared the fact that obtaining the right to vote was a struggle for some.

“If we’re being honest,” Ford said. “The right to vote has not been guaranteed to everyone. It hasn’t always been guaranteed to women – hasn’t always been guaranteed to black folk and other people of color. After the civil war, there were three amendments that were added to the constitution. The 15th Amendment was the one that guaranteed you cannot be discriminated against or disenfranchised based on your race.”

In this election, there are many people running for office.  Many are focusing on the US Presidential election, but Ford says voters need to do their homework about other offices on the ballot that impacts their way of life.

“The state superintendent race is literally being voted on right now,” he said. “Affordable housing in Charlotte is being voted on right now, criminal justice. There are judges…Attorney General for the State – that is on the ballot right now. So there’s a huge amount of things that we have influence over as citizens. And so exercising our right to vote – exercising our power is one of the key areas that we can utilize.”

Ford believes Democracy works and all who can take advantage of it.

People can early vote in Mecklenburg County until October 31st. The General Election in November 3rd.

For more information on voting click here

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