Thursday, 06 December 2018 16:10

Hermon students watch 'history in the making' at ranked-choice hearing Featured

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BANGOR - Extra chairs were brought into a courtroom at the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building so local students could learn about the judicial system while listening to arguments in Rep. Bruce Poliquin's federal lawsuit challenging ranked-choice voting.

“Yesterday we brought about 45 students, 45 to 50 students from Hermon High School to federal district court to see the Bruce Poliquin challenge to the ranked-choice voting law,”
said Jesse Hargrove, a social studies teacher at Hermon High.


“We've been following the elections, we've been following the process of the elections and politics in general in a variety of different classes here at Hermon High School so this is an opportunity for us to see history in the making,” he added.


Maine is the first state in the nation to allow voters to rank candidates in a federal election. Poliquin's lawsuit asks the judge to declare ranked-choice voting unconstitutional.


“I thought it was a great opportunity to get a chance to see what real court looks like,” said Sarah Littlefield, a Hermon High School senior. “We do a lot of mock court at school in the Justice and Law class and it was nice to get the real action and see just how real reactions are.”


“It was a long process but I think it was definitely worth it,” added classmate Shannel Barker, a sophomore. “It was a great learning experience.”


With a day to reflect, the state's future voters added: “I think it was an excellent real-world application that is going to be extremely useful to us as we go out into the world and begin to vote,” said Liana Shaw, a Hermon High School junior.


The 15-year-old said she looks forward to voting ranked-choice, but added, “I got a bit to go.”


Others in her class agreed.


“Independence is really important in today's age and stuff,” said Jordyn Robinson, Hermon High School junior. “And so you just choose who you want and hope for the best.”


The students told me they learned a lot about how the federal court system works.

Nit-Noi Ricker

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Nit-Noi Ricker is an Army brat who grew up on a farm in Winterport. She went to the University of Maine and the University of Northern Texas to learn how to be a journalist and started her career in Arizona at the Williams-Grand Canyon News, ...