3 Reasons to Abolish the Heads-Down Vote

This country prides itself on democracy.  Free speech, freedom of religion, freedom to cut anyone in the world off in the hall, no matter how late they are for class.  Therefore, when a decision needs to be made in class, what does the teacher decide to do?  Tax the studen-whoops, no, they take a vote.

That, in and of itself, is fine.  Who doesn’t like a vote?  In fact, we probably like a vote too much in this country.  Senator? Let’s vote.  Community leader? Vote.  Yellow or blue garbage bin lining? A vote, of course.

But that’s not my point.  That is somebody else’s point entirely, someone who has a college degree and doesn’t spend half of their day trying to find a quiet corner to sleep in (you’d think in the library, but no!).  My question is this: why, when the teacher’s have us vote on something in class, do they make us put our heads down?  This causes needless problems.

Mobility Issue

Try it.  Bend down, head down on a table, and without twisting to the side (‘cause you could be peeking) raise a hand and straighten it.  It’s difficult, to say the least.  You could dislocate a shoulder–although that’s why they invented GPS (so you can locate it again).

Along with that, though, one should consider the bending down process.  Especially for people with braces.  While this may not actually affect the flexibility of the neck, lots of teens have braces, so I figure as soon as someone comes up with a reason why this type of movement is harmful and discriminatory to those with braces, a great class-action lawsuit could be filed.  Actually, I just think it would be hilarious to see my orthodontist and his eight female assistants called to the stand to testify against the teachers (backed up by the substitute teachers), mostly because I’m sure that he would offer to correct my French teacher’s teeth for a discounted price.

Heads-Down Theory

The most obvious question is why can’t we see who votes what?  Do we have high school Tammany Halls? Do the teachers think the kids get together after school, form groups, and talk about who voted for picking one’s own groups vs. having the teacher pick, as if us teens actually cared? It is ridiculous that should even be a question; I mean, of course we do.

But really, what’s the harm in letting us see who votes what? What happens in the classroom stays in the classroom (while the students are still in the classroom.  When they leave, well, that’s another matter). I suppose it is to prevent people from voting with the majority of the class, and giving in to the invisible forces known as peer pressure.  However, if the idea is to prevent a majority vote, the teachers should simply hold a filibuster to prevent a vote (why else do you think teachers like Shakespeare so much?).

Voter Problems

A heads down voteThis heads-down method, while it may be to create a fair vote, is actually detrimental to the fairness of the results.  When teens put their heads down on their desks, the thought process goes: yes, I can go to sleep–no, wait, I need to vote–yes, but it is dark and quiet–there is something I am supposed to be doing–no, go to sleep–quick just raise my hand and go to sleep.  This means the first option usually receives the most votes.

Also, with all the motion of changing positions, it is easier to slip the student next to you some “green stuff”, or even a fancy pencil, and tell them what to vote.  This leads to an increase in corrupt voters in future generations, but it also swindles the corrupt teens, because usually the person falls asleep before voting.

Mostly, though, this method doesn’t work because everyone falls asleep (in case you haven’t figured this out yet).

Considering these problems, I’d suggest a new method, in the spirit of pin the tail on the donkey.  Spin the students around before voting, of course.  Then give them tacks and they can place them in various positions around the room (depending on how far they get before they realize they could use the time to sleep).  Not sure how results are tallied, but that is what math is for, right?

What about y’all, readers? Any thoughts? (Note: this is a blatant request for people to comment, made even more obvious by this note.)

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