Students learn a lesson in Canadian democracy

By David F. Rooney

Students in all SD 19 schools learned a valuable lesson in Canadian democracy on Monday, May 8, through the Student Vote Program.

More than 180,000 elementary and high school students from throughout British Columbia took on the roles of election officials and cast ballots for the official candidates running in their electoral district through the Student Vote program.
A total of 1,221 schools have registered to participate in Student Vote BC 2017, representing all 87 electoral districts, making this the largest Student Vote program held in the province to date.
Given declining voter-participation rates in recent years this program was created under the premise that students introduced to the value of voting early on in their lives will likely contnue to vote as adults. There have been student votes in the 2005, 2009 and 2013 provincial elections. However, except for the 2005 result they did not reflect the actual vote.
The results of the students’ vote will not be known until the adult polls are closed at 8 pm Tuesday evening.

Here are a few photos of the students’ learning about the voting process:

Just like their parents and adult relatives and brothers and sisters, kids at Columbia Park Elementary School registered to vote in a the 2017 bC Election. Okay, it was a mock election, but the kids had all boned up on seven major election issues ranging from affordable housing to health care. David F. Rooney photo
Then they all lined up to mark their ballots. David F. Rooney photo
Of course, not all of them were quite sure which way they had to fold their ballots. David F. Rooney photo
But with that all sorted out they got to cast their ballots for the cndidte of their choice. David F. Rooney photo