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High Schoolers Might Determine Winner of Presidential Election Tonight

GILL, Mass. (WGGB) -You might be tired of the ads, the mudslinging, maybe even campaigning in general.

If you’re just ready for the results, you might not have to wait until Tuesday to find out who will win this presidential election.

Voting Opportunities for Teenagers in Every State, or VOTES, is a nationwide high school mock election based out of Gill’s Northfield Mount Hermon School.

Each state has students from one public and one private school vote. The results are tallied at NMH Sunday night, where the election results are broadcast on their website.

History teacher Jim Shea started the project in 1988 as a way to get students to understand the way the presidential election works. “It was my second year of teaching and I was really frustrated with a particular unit. I did teach the Electoral College and how the president is chosen, so I stormed in to the history office frustrated with their lack of knowledge, and more significantly, their lack of enthusiasm,” Shea said.

Jim says the best way to learn is to do. Students take on various roles throughout the whole process from anchoring the results show to campaign managing.

They say that this activity gives them real insight into what it takes to vote in the future. “I personally debated on the part of Jill Stein, and a lot of people came up to me after and said ‘I didn’t know what Jill Stein was all about. Now that they actually heard from someone who wasn’t affiliated with parents or relatives got to decide for themselves. So i thought that was great,” said senior Daniel Hamos.

It got students involved in talking about their political ideas and I’ve got my friends talking about it. It’s actually really cool to see so many students interested in politics.

This year’s race is a tight one and VOTES has accurately picked the president in 5 of the last 6 elections.

Shea has no idea why that is. “I don’t know if I have a satisfactory answer. I think students do, have a rebellious nature sometimes and I think they do vote in a similar nature to their parents.”

Regardless of which way they choose at this point the show’s anchor, Lena Nowak-Laird says it’s important for adults to take a stance. “I think that people really need to make a decision, where they see the U.S. going. We need to think about how the world sees us and what we want for our future,” she stated.

Students get no grade or extra credit for participating, which speaks volumes to their interest, because it takes months to prepare.

Two schools in New York and all schools from New Jersey pulled out of the mock election because of Hurricane Sandy.

To hear the results, click here.


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