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Coverage of the 2016 presidential election from NPR News and related blogs, including candidate profiles, interviews and talking points.On-air specials will also be broadcast as Election Day approaches, including the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.WRVO also provides coverage of regional elections both on-air and online.

Mock election prepares Syracuse high school students for real voting

High school students in the Syracuse City School District participated in a mock election for president, Senate and House of Representatives using official ballots and voting machines from the Onondaga County Board of Elections. 

Peggy Durant teaches government and economics at Corcoran High School and said the idea is to get students more familiar with the voting process.

“A lot of our kids, when they go to vote for the first time, they have no idea what to expect," Durant said. "So, this gives them a realistic approach to what they would do."

Students at Corcoran High School on Syracuse’s south side were overwhelmingly in favor of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Cecelia is a senior and said her reason for voting for Clinton is stereotypical.

“I would really like to see a woman in office, but I agree with her on a lot of her views,” Cecelia said.

Cecelia said those views include reducing the gender wage gap and student loan debt. Nytwan, a ninth-grader, said Clinton will add more jobs. Tiffany is in 10th grade.

“I feel like she’s trying to help us out and the Republicans, they don’t want to help us,” Tiffany said.

Credit Syracuse City School District
Results from the Syracuse City School District mock election with 98 percent reporting.

Sometimes kids can be harsh and these students did not have kind words for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Some called him a racist.

Ninth-grader Axsel said Trump’s plans for reforming immigration will mess up peoples’ lives.

“You don’t know what you could possibly do in a place you’re not from,” Axsel said.

Donte, who's in 10th grade, said he did not like how Trump spoke to Clinton at the recent debate.

“He needs to calm that down a little bit,” Donte said.

Students watched highlights of the debate in their social studies classes before voting. At least one student has a different view.

Ryan is a senior and said he is voting for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson based on his political leanings.

“I’m not exactly a full-blown Libertarian, but some of the stuff he said, although Aleppo does frighten me, some of the stuff he’s said about it," Ryan said. "I think he’s the best of a bad situation.”

Gyahda is a senior and has one suggestion for that bad situation.

“I really feel as if they need to change the whole constitution and let Obama get a third term,” Gyahda said.

Ryan said he also voted for Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).

“Charles Schumer has been senator for as long as I’ve been alive and I obviously can’t look up his entire history but a lot of stuff I agree with,” Ryan said.

Nick Stamoulacatos, the supervisor of social studies for the Syracuse City School District, said it is the first year they are doing a districtwide mock election using voting machines.  

“It’s a very new aspect of actually doing it," Stamoulacatos said. "It’s one thing to read about it in a text book, it’s another thing to actually do it.”

Stamoulacatos said he hopes when the students can legally vote, they will be just as excited.