118 schools and 17,000 Montana students participated in a Mock Election on Thursday.
East Valley Middle School Class President Emma Hoover said she spent her day registering students for the Mock Elections.
"We get a feel for what voting’s going to be like when we’re older. And finally be able to vote for the actual elections," said Hoover.
Montana schools have been holding mock elections for 16 years. They are an opportunity for students too young to vote to see how the process works and research the issues.
"So it gets them thinking you know when they turn 18, they’re going to have to do their research, they’re going to have to think about their votes, and the impact that they’ll have," said Marne Bender, the school’s Library Media Specialist.
Bender said all the kids get an opportunity to vote in their social studies class.
Secretary of state Linda McCulloch talked about the importance of educating students about the democratic process.
"One of the things to know is that the earlier an 18 year old votes, the more likely they are to always vote in elections," said McCulloch.
Class Vice President Jake Hoover said the lesson was eye opening.
"Because it gets you prepared, like if you see certain people on there, and you’ve heard stuff about them, you can stat to narrow it down, kind of like real voting," said Hoover.
"Even though that we’re small like we’re still in middle school, it’s still a nice chance to get that chance to vote," said TJ Roberts, an East Valley Seventh Grader.
The results from the Mock election show Donald Trump receiving the most votes in the presidential race, and Steve Bullock in the lead for governor.
East Valley Vice Principal Mike Agostinelli said he started up the Mock Elections program 16 years ago.
"I came up with the original web page design and all of that stuff. And about 10 years we were very fortunate that the state took over, and they put together, redid the webpage, redid all of the work and they run it on their servers, it runs a lot better and everything like that. So we’ve been going at it now for 16 years," said Agostinelli.
For full results, visit http://youthvote.mt.gov/(S(435xzd45g2jqas45cgazz23i))/ResultsView.aspx.