EASLEY — Rep. Neal Collins paid a visit to his kindergarten alma mater, McKissick Elementary, on Monday to speak to the student body about the importance of participating in government.
To drive his point home about how every vote matters, Collins went with an analogy even the youngest someday-voter could relate to: the age old question of pizza or spaghetti?
The crowd of elementary kids was pretty evenly split between the two.
“OK, here’s what we’re going to do, everyone stand up,” said Collins. “We’re going to vote.”
“But you know what? Before you can vote, you have to register to vote — and not everyone does that,” he said. “So this whole half of the room, you guys all have to sit down.”
Half the room sat, frowning.
“Now to all of you who are still standing, around 60 percent of you won’t vote — even though you’re registered. Isn’t that crazy? Almost one in two of you won’t vote, so all of you on this half, you sit down too.”
Only a quarter of the room remained standing.
“Alright now — to the ones who are left standing — which do you like better? Pizza or spaghetti?”
Whereas before the vote was fairly even, this time, pizza won in a landslide.
“Do you see what just happened?” Collins asked. “Do you want just this small group of people deciding what everyone eats for dinner?” Heads shook across the gymnasium. “Then you have to vote. And you have to register to vote.
“Now I know you all are too young to vote but when you go home tonight, talk to your parents, talk to your grandparents. Talk to all of the adults in your life about how important it is that they vote and when you all turn 18-years-old — it may seem like it’s a long way off, but it’s not — make sure you register and vote too.”
Laughter erupted from the adults present at the assembly when The Pickens Sentinel asked Collins if there was any value to a “third party” vote for, say, “salad” — if you didn’t like pizza or spaghetti.
“Yes, there is value. I’m planning on ordering a salad myself,” Collins joked. “You see, I’m starting a diet on Tuesday and I just can’t handle pizza or spaghetti.”
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.