The Student Vote program coincides with official election periods and includes four basic steps.
Step 1: Register with Student Vote
The program is open to all elementary, middle and secondary schools and there is no cost to participate.
Teachers may register online or by calling the Student Vote office at 1-866-488-8775. Only one registration is permitted per school. Teachers are asked to communicate and collaborate with their colleagues on their school’s registration.
The teacher that completes the registration becomes the "Student Vote Team Leader" and acts as the lead coordinator for their school.
Step 2: Receive resource materials
At the beginning of the campaign, each Team Leader will receive a campaign package tailored to the current election, customized to their school’s needs (by level, language and school size).
Schools can expect to receive the following materials:
- Activity resources
- Campaign posters
- Ballot boxes
- Voting screens
- Electoral district maps
- Election operations manual
Please note: The ballots include the names of the actual local candidates running in the election and will be sent following the close of nominations.
Step 3: Engage with the campaign
Over the course of the campaign, students get a chance to experience their democracy, actively taking part in the election through classroom activities and school wide events.
The activities are intended to inform students about government and the electoral process, and cultivate a sense of civic duty.
Students use newspapers and online media resources to follow the political parties and learn about election issues. Many schools also organize all-candidate debates to foster dialogue about local issues and promote interaction with the candidates.
Students are encouraged to share their newfound political knowledge and interest with their peers, families and the community at large.
Step 4: Participate in Student Vote Day
The week before official Election Day, schools host a Student Vote Day to conduct their vote. Schools are required to hold Student Vote Day in advance of the actual election to promote dialogue between students and their families, and to allow Student Vote the necessary time to organize the Student Vote results for release to media partners.
On Student Vote Day, students take on the roles of deputy returning officers and poll clerks in order to organize their own polling stations. Identical to the official election process, students have the opportunity to vote on the local candidates in their electoral district.
Once the ballots have been counted, each school submits their vote tallies to the Student Vote Returning Office. All results must confidential until the close of the official polls.
The results are released publicly on Election Night, broadcast on TV and published in regional daily newspapers the following day.