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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — With elections right around the corner, students all across the state are learning how elections work and the importance of voting.

All it took was a quick click as students at Heritage Academy High School cast a mock vote towards a presidential candidate of their choice. Though most students are still under legal voting age, the students have a sense of how important the process is.

“I Think it’s very important to vote because if you don’t vote, then you really don’t have any say so in what you like or don’t like about your current president,” said student Elise Lingle.

The project Promote the Vote is sponsored by the Mississippi Secretary of State and is made to teach children in grades K-12 to get involved in the future of our country.

“My vote does count,” said student Cara Pridmore. ” I think it’s important that we know the popular vote does not count alone because it’s not just based on the Electoral College … it’s based on our vote because that determines what the Electoral College does.”

Students were able to decide if they wanted to vote or not. Though the votes don’t count in the real elections, the results are gathered from schools statewide and reveal the most popular candidate among students.

And part of the lesson is doing your homework and making their own decision rather than what their parents or someone else tells them.

“I’ve tried to teach them that it is for their future and that it’s important they understand the process of voting because some of them already 18 and can vote. It’s important that you vote in every election and that you understand all the issues and find out as much information as you can about the candidate,” teacher Deb Shelton explained.

For many students, the mock election was a learning process and for others it was a glimpse in the future of many elections to come.

Starkville, Columbus and several other schools are doing mock votes this week. The results will be sent to the secretary of State’s office in Jackson and a statewide total released next week.

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