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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Some exit pollsters too young to vote




It was fifth-grader Mahogani Anderson, 11, asking the big questions outside the Prayer Tower Church of God in Christ polling location.

The girl was one of a few dozen students from Douglas Jamerson Jr. Elementary School taking exit poll interviews and greeting voters at the voting site, 1137 37th St. S this morning. 

"I think health care is the most important one," Anderson said when asked her opinion of the issues, as teacher Donald Johnson looked on.

Anticipating chaos and long waits, the children and their teachers also brought metal folding chairs so people could sit while on line, cool bottled water for the weary, and a tic-tac-toe game for voter amusement.

But there were no lines.

"Easy in, easy out," said Andrea Henry, 39, a credit researcher from Childs Park. Henry, a lifelong Democrat, said she voted for Obama because "he's about the people."

Johnson said the exit polls would be compiled in a school-wide project. The kids are taking 90-minute shifts through the remainder of the school day, he said.

"I'm glad to see these kids excited about this at this age," said Henry Howard, 43, of Childs Park, who took the exit poll from the children.

Howard, a Marine veteran who is black, said he voted for McCain, because of Obama's stances on abortion and same sex marriage. He said it wasn't enough to vote for Obama because he is a black man.

"I have to vote based on my beliefs," Howard said.

Luis Perez, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:39am]


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