If it were up to the students at Clovis East High School and Reyburn Intermediate schools, Hillary Clinton would be the next president of the United States.
For more than a week, students in civics, government and history classes at the two schools walked to the Reagan Education Center library to a mock polling place to cast their vote in a mock election.
“It’s the Youth Leadership Initiative in coordination with the University of Virginia that organizes the mock election nationwide,” said Andrea Phillips, teacher librarian at Reagan Education Center.
The library teamed up with the history department to teach students about civics and the election process.
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“With all the negative media coverage surrounding the election and candidates, we really wanted to teach our kids to discuss politics in a respectful manner,” Phillips said. “Our theme for this election cycle is ‘respect the vote.’ Students who are role models around campus have been wearing Respect the Vote t-shirts.” Clovis East senior Hailey Cochran is 18 and is registered to vote in the upcoming election. She said the mock election was helpful because she and fellow students learned how to thoroughly research propositions and measures.
“In class we researched a proposition and explained it to the class so we would have an idea of what each one was about when we came here to vote,” she said. “It gave me an idea of what it’s going to be like when I do go and vote, so I’m not as nervous.”
Although 17-year-old senior Courtney Herring isn’t old enough to vote in this year’s election, she said she appreciates the experience.
“It is definitely good that they’re having us do this as a trial run, as a mock voting, because we are going to be doing this when we are 18 and we are voting for the people who will run our country,: she said.
Students filed into the library and logged into the Youth Leadership Initiative mock election on individual computers. Each student’s station was surrounded by cardboard dividers.
““We tried to make it as like the polls as we could, with the ballot booths,” Phillips said.
The students then voted for the president, California Senator, District 22 Representative and a handful of California propositions that were hand selected by their teachers.
“We created a voter information guide for them so they could read the wording of the measure and dissect it in class,” Phillips said. “The teachers have really been frontloading this idea of being an informed voter and being respectful of others people’s votes as well and not engaging in a negative dialogue about politics. Just because you don’t agree with someone doesn’t mean they’re a bad person or that you can’t be friends with them; it’s that everybody has an opinion.”
The schools participated in the YLI mock election in 2012 as well, Phillips said.
“It has been amazing to see students engage in politics in such a meaningful way,” she said.
How they voted
After nearly 1,600 Clovis East and Reyburn students participated in the Youth Leadership Initiative’s mock election, the results are as follows:
Hillary Clinton: 44.05%
Donald J. Trump: 28.87%
Jill Stein: 5.72%
Gary Johnson: 5.31%
Gloria Estela La Riva: 3.93%
Write In: 3.18%
California US Senate:
Loretta L. Sanchez: 42.81%
Kamala D. Harris: 33.97%
Write In: 2.76%
Including all students who voted in the YLI mock election in the state of California, the results are:
Hillary Clinton: 53.93%
Donald J. Trump: 24.13%
California US Senate:
Kamala D. Harris: 38.36%
Loretta L. Sanchez: 35.13%
Don’t forget to rock your vote.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.