In mock election, York College students vote Clinton

Alyssa Jackson
  • York College held a mock election on Tuesday to encourage its students to vote.
  • Of the 304 votes cast, a majority of students voted for Hillary Clinton.

York College students took to the polls Tuesday during a mock election held by the college's History and Political Science Department.

York College students participate in a mock election Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Amanda J. Cain photo

The polls were open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 304 students voted during that time. Hillary Clinton won the mock election, securing 45 percent of the votes, with Donald Trump following close behind with 34 percent of the vote. Gary Johnson had 13 percent of students vote for him, while Jill Stein got 8 percent of the vote.

Voting: Students varied on why they chose to vote for each candidate. York College seniors Kris Brown from Baltimore and Meagan Craver from Spring Grove voted for Trump together. Brown said that he voted for Trump because he wanted to see a different political approach.

York College junior Megan Burchfield, of Birmingham, Alabama, makes her mock election vote by selecting Hillary Clinton as her choice for President on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Amanda J. Cain photo

"For me, I feel like Clinton will continue doing the same things as Obama, and we won't be going anywhere," Brown said. "Any mix-up is a good mix-up right now."

Brown and Craver like the fact that Trump is a businessman who has "created jobs," they said.

"I do like that he's not afraid to speak his mind," Craver said.

Logan Harris, a junior from Selinsgrove, decided to vote for Clinton because his political ideals are so different from Trump's, he said.

"I believe Clinton is the best card, not because she's the best for the job, but because Trump is the worst," he said.

Ryan Griffith, a freshman from West Chester, also voted for Clinton because he didn't like Trump. "I feel like (Clinton's) scandals are blown out of proportion," Griffith said.

Cris Tomochi, a junior from Frederick, Maryland, decided to vote for Johnson because neither of the front-runners appealed to him.

"I don't like Clinton or Trump," Tomochi said. "I don't really like party affiliation, but I tend to lean more right," which is why Johnson was a better choice for him than Stein.

All of the students said that they were planning on voting the same way in the November election, but some students are still undecided. Ashleigh Sharland, a senior studying political science, helped with the mock election throughout the day. The Glen Rock resident said that she was originally a Bernie Sanders supporter, but now she's unsure of who she is going to vote for in November.

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"I think I should vote for someone because I want to vote for them, not because I feel like I have to," Sharland said.

Sharland works for the local Democratic office in her spare time. She is involved in the History and Political Science Department and worked with the mock election because she wanted to help stress how important voting is to her peers.

"I think that every individual has a stake, especially young people," she said.

York College freshman Greg Williams, right, of Ridgecrest, California, makes his mock election vote, by selecting Donald Trump as his choice for President on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Amanda J. Cain photo

History in voting: John Altman, chair of the department, and Lori Nolte, the department's administrative assistant, were two key players in organizing the mock election, which was purposely scheduled for a Tuesday and on the day of the vice-presidential debate, organizers said.

Altman wanted the mock election to teach students about the history of voting, so he had two different types of ballots for the students: a more modern secret ballot and an older party-ticket system, also known as straight-party voting. Altman explained that the older ticket system was common until a the secret ballot was implemented to try to curb voter corruption.

The older party-ticket system had voters cast a paper ballot for their candidate, and each ballot for each candidate was a different color. Altman took the time to explain this to each student who decided to vote, telling them that the older ticket system saw a lot of corruption because it was easier to see and coerce voters for a certain party. However, the new, secret ballot actually decreased voter turnout in the U.S.

"We're trying to instill a sense of citizenship in our students, and this is the most basic way for students to engage in the election," Altman said. "It's important, too, to tell them about how voting was done in the past."

After casting their votes and learning some history in doing so, students received an "I voted" sticker and some candy.

Individuals can still register to vote in the primary election until Oct. 11. Those interested in registering can do so online at