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Pupils hold mock US presidential election Pupils votes US; POLICIES DIVIDE CLASSROOM AS KIDS GO TO POLLS.

Byline: HANNAH GRAHAM Reporter hannah.graham@trintymirror.com @HannahGraham21

AS the people went to the polls in the US presidential election, we got an exclusive insight into a special "electoral college" in New York.

The voters we spoke to seemed to echo what the political experts were saying about the race to the White House - it was too close to call.

However, the New York battleground we were looking at was over 3,000 miles away from the Big Apple.

They were taking part in a hardfought mock election at New York Primary School in North Tyneside. Children there have been throwing themselves into campaigning, learning about US politics and the policies of the country's two main parties.

The candidates were Maigen Richards, representing the Democrats with her running-mate Luke Compson, both nine, and Jack Dennis, for the Republicans along with Keenan Carr, both aged 11.

Maigen, who argued Hillary Clinton was likely to do a better job of international diplomacy than Donald Trump, said: "I think she can make the world a safer place.

"I like how she wants to restrict drilling for oil to protect the environment." One of the Republican policies Jack had researched and presented to his classmates was the stance on tax.

He said: "The thing that I mostly like about Donald Trump is his tax policy, and how he's keeping it even in America by making higher earners have the same as lower earners, so America is stable."

Children as young as six had been getting to grips with politics, as the candidates came into each class to present their arguments.

The concerns of pupils ranged from gun control to education policy.

Rose Lopez, eight, said: "The Democrats said it would be better if people had less guns, because then they would be safer, and I agree with that."

Emma Gray, seven, said: "We've never had a girl president before, so it would be good if Hillary Clinton won."

Faith Ubah, seven, added: "It would make me feel really happy if there was a girl as president."

Hassan Kahn, also seven, cast his vote for the Republicans.

He said: "I voted for Donald Trump so he can improve education with longer school days."

The school has even tried to mirror the US voting system, with each class representing a state to cast its votes.

Head teacher Jill Shaw said: "I did an assembly on the American election and the staff said their kids had been really engaged, so we did this."

The school result, as in the US proper, was declared yesterday, with Republican candidate Donald Trump - echoing reality - emerging as the winner.

CAPTION(S):

From left, candidates Luke Compson and Maigen Richards (Democratic) with Jack Dennis and Keenan Carr (Republican)

Pupils cast their votes in the mock US election

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 10, 2016
Words:466
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