This week, November 2, students across Montana will have the opportunity to vote. Of course, those under 18 won’t get to vote in the general election, but Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton will still be tallying the results of the Montana Youth Vote.

“In short, it is an opportunity this Friday, right before the general election next week, where all the kids in Montana get to vote,” Stapleton said. “They kind of vote on the same things the adults are. They will be voting on the U.S. Senate race and the House race. We know they are smart kids so we are actually going to throw the initiatives and the referendums on there too. We have a couple fun little things they can vote on like their sports teams and their favorite foods.”

The Youth Vote is a Montana tradition and has an educational aspect. Stapleton says there were some questions raised about whether or not to release the results.

“We had this conversation and the question came up, what happens if the kids overwhelmingly vote a certain way and could that influence the real vote just three or four days away by sort of letting people know what parents are thinking,” Stapleton asked. “Kids tend to vote sometimes what they might hear at the dinner table, but after much discussion we decided to release them anyways and it might be one of the best polls we see the whole cycle.”

Votes will be gathered from students during school hours on Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at all schools which participate. The Youth Vote is done digitally, so there won’t be any actual paper ballots to collect.

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