AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --
Students from schools across the state met in Augusta Wednesday to tally the votes in a mock election that polled 155 different Maine schools.
The "Rally the Tally" event gives students an opportunity to collect election results by phone and via the Internet and report statewide result to the national mock election for the office of President and U.S. House of Representatives, as well as the six statewide referendum questions.
"Families talk about what's happening on the ballot, and they talk about it in school," said Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap."This has actually been historically a pretty close predictor of how the general election is going to turn out."
The election is for fun, but some teachers see it as a valuable out-of-classroom experience.
"The next Presidential election will be their first. The kids have had great debates about it. You find out certainly a lot about what mom and dad think," said T.J. Maines, a social studies teacher at Cony Middle School.
Maines said the respect that he has seen between voters of opposing views during past elections is less present this time around.
"Our job has kind of been to remind kids -- this is a civil thing. Whoever wins, whoever loses, you need to be respectful of the other person," said Maines.
Secretary Dunlap said the mock election is a chance for students get their first taste of voting.
"Getting them to understand that this process is their process, not our process -- it doesn't belong to the candidates, it belongs to them as citizens," said Dunlap.
The theme of this year's event is "Media in Politics." NEWS CENTER anchor Katie Bavoso, as well as Judy Long, Digital Desk editor at the Bangor Daily News, and Joe Phelan, photojournalist at the Kennebec Journal held "workshops" at their stations to show kids about how photojournalists and newspaper editors make their journalistic decisions in election seasons.
Students also practiced the voting process today of getting a ballot, going into a voting booth, and selecting their choice for their favorite newspaper.
Donald Trump won the Presidency.
You can find the full results here.
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