Shenendehowa Mock Election Results align with national trend among millennials

Shenendehowa Central SchoolShenendehowa Central Schools. Photo by Marc Schultz.

By Cady Kuzmich
Gazette Reporter

Clifton Park — If it were up to millennials, Hillary Clinton would have won the 2016 presidential election by a landslide according to polls. Since it was announced that Donald Trump will be the president-elect of the United States, thousand of students have taken to the streets in protest, walking out of high school and college classrooms chanting “Not my president.”

Shenendehowa High School held a mock election shortly before the presidential election to gauge where student support lies and give them a taste of the election process. The mock election was  part of University of Virginia’s nation-wide mock election.

According to Shenendehowa’s website, “This was the first time Shenendehowa has participated in the University of Virginia’s nationwide mock election.” Over 1,000 students, grade 9-12, cast ballots in both the presidential and congressional races.

In the presidential race, 43 percent of students voted for Hillary Clinton while 34 percent voted for Donald Trump.

Senator Charles Schumer earned over 56 percent of the vote while his republican opponent Wendy Long brought in 27 percent.

Students voted to reelect Congressman Paul Tonko with over 60 percent of the vote. Tonko’s challenger, Joe Vitollo earned just 28 percent of the vote.

Shenendehowa junior Thea Mouzakes supported Hillary Clinton. Mouzakes said, “When I found out that Hillary won our mock election I was really hopeful that she would win the real presidential election. I was honestly surprised that she won because there are so many kids at my school that support Trump.”

Like many across the nation, Mouzakes was unable to sleep on election night as the national results were pouring in Tuesday evening. “When I saw that Trump hit 270 electoral votes I immediately started crying. My mom and sister were crying as well. I was and still am so upset with this. All throughout the day I was crying and had a massive headache. I was in shock that he won,” said Mouzakes.

“I’m really disturbed that someone as racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and just as horrible as he is was supported by so many people and now is going to represent us,” added Mouzakes. Still, she is trying to remain hopeful.”I am trying to reach out to as many people as possible to share that they’re not alone and that I can be there for them since our future president won’t be there for them,” said Mouzakes.  

“One our biggest goals as teachers is to prepare our students to become informed and engaged citizens,” said Bob Keyser, Shenendehowa’s National Issues Forum Teacher.  “Having over 1,000 students choose to take part in the mock election shows that our students are tuned into this election and is a great sign for the future of our democracy.”

When it came to priorities, jobs and economy ranked high in student’s mind at 47 percent. Terrorism and the threat of ISIS was the main influence for 45 percent of the vote while 34 percent of the vote was primarily influenced by civil rights.