Students at Delaware Hayes High School took part in a mock caucus Tuesday morning and chose Bernie Sanders and John Kasich as their presidential nominees.
All students were invited to attend the event at the stadium during their “Pacer period” Tuesday.
Cory Beam, a senior at Hayes and organizer of the event, said he is very passionate about politics and wanted a way to get other students involved. Hayes Principal Richard Stranges said Beam approached school administrators with the idea for the event and they thought it was a great idea.
“You want to teach students about their civic duty? Give them examples and opportunities,” Stranges said.
More than 600 students came to the event. Beam gave short speeches about each of the four Republican candidates and fellow seniors Adrian Radila and Celeste Smith gave short speeches about Sanders and Hillary Clinton respectively.
Students were then asked to pick a candidate and the votes were tallied.
On the Republican side, Beam said Ohio Gov. Kasich won 140 votes, Donald Trump won 135 votes, Ted Cruz won 39 votes and Marco Rubio won 18 votes.
For Democrats, Beam said 287 voted for Sanders and 26 voted for Clinton.
“Trump won more than I thought he would,” Beam said. Beam’s speeches about Trump were met with loud applause and even louder booing.
Radila, a Sanders supporter, said it’s not a surprising result because young people are Sanders’ key demographic.
“He talks a lot about the future and wants young people to come out and vote,” Radila said. During his speech about Sanders, Radila said the Sanders campaign essentially boils down to “millions of people coming together to make the government work for them.”
Radila’s speeches about Sanders were met with cheers and applause.
Beam said he was also not surprised by Sanders’ overwhelming victory.
“I don’t support Sanders, but he has solutions for problems that young people have,” Beam said.
Smith said that even if students don’t agree, it’s important that they vote.
“Voting in the United States is a tradition of sorts,” Smith said. “If we start that mentality early, it can increase voter turnout.”
Beam said the event was encouraging.
“It was great to see the passion [for politics] spread through the student body,” Beam said.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.