The Student Ambassador Network documents Student Vote 2015 from coast to coast
Last week we asked the Student Ambassador Network to document the Student Vote experience at their school. Once again we would like to share some of the outstanding responses that we’ve received.
Edmonton West, Alberta
OCT. 3, EDMONTON – The Globe and Mail visited Blessed Oscar Romero High School to interview students (including Nick) and teachers about their Student Vote 2015 experience.
— Chris Hannay (@channay) October 3, 2015
Vancouver Granville, British Columbia
OCT. 9, VANCOUVER — Students at Ideal Mini School lined up to cast their ballots in the Student Vote Election today.
Ideal Mini School sits in the newly created riding of Vancouver-Granville, which has been a serious battleground for all parties since the beginning of the election. The major parties have been campaigning aggressively; Candidates and staff wave signs, distribute flyers and attend schools for Q&A sessions. Ideal Mini was visited by the NDP’s Mira Oreck, Jody Wilson Raybould of the Liberal Party, and Elain Ng of the Greens. On separate occasions, candidates took questions from the Grade 11 social studies class (Wilson-Raybould simultaneously saw the Grade 12 history students).
When asked if these meetings helped shape his decision on voting day Adam Atbi, 16, said the following: “Yes it did. It helps to get face to face with the person who representing you, versus what they and the party stand for. Also, How well they do answering our questions gives a small clue at how they will do with the whole house [of Commons] yelling at them.”
The polling station was open for most of the morning, and featured official Elections Canada ballots and voting screens. Students performed the roles of Poll Clerk, Deputy Returning Officer and Scrutineer.
The Student Vote election results will be broadcast alongside the official election results on October 19th.
Kitchener South-Hespeler, Ontario
OCT. 14, KITCHENER – Over 2,000 students at St. Mary’s High school participated in a mock federal election by voting for the candidates from each party that represented the Kitchener South-Hespeler riding.
Since the beginning of the school year, the St. Mary’s Student Vote Team worked diligently to create posters, banners and a master slide show that would help inform the students of the school. Not only did they advertise and educate about the most important and relevant points of each party’s platform, but they also shared some background information on each candidate.
Though it took a significant amount of time to prepare and conduct each duty, the actual voting process happened fairly quickly. Most of the members of the Student Vote Team were signed out of their first and second period classes to distribute the ballots to each class, and then to later tally them.
This year, the Student Vote Team also offered mobile polling stations where two or three members of the Student Vote Team would go to specific classes and explain the platforms and concerns of each party and candidate. Civics classes, history classes and ESL classes found these mobile polling stations to be very effective, as each Student Vote Member would answer questions regarding each candidate and would also remind them of the importance of having the right to vote. It was also a more authentic experience for these students, as each mobile polling station would provide portable voting stalls for each voter to vote in during the event. This simulated a real voting experience. For those classes that did not request a mobile polling station, they watched the PowerPoints that we previously made on each candidate and their party platform.
Overall, Student Vote Day 2015 was by far more successful than the previous municipal election last year. More students seemed to be engaged, either through the posters, banners and general conversations fostered by the Student Vote Team. The advertising throughout the media, from Twitter, radio stations and TV commercials have garnered the interest of not only eligible voters but also future voters. Mr. Justin Trudeau’s youth and the exciting electoral debates between him and Mr. Harper and Mr. Mulcair generated a lot of interest in the younger demographic. It is exciting to see that more and more students are willing to contribute to the political dialogue that affects the country.
OCT. 15, LONDON – Nearly 300 students from London District Christian Secondary School cast a Student Vote ballot on their local candidates.
London District Christian Secondary School was one of many schools that participated in CIVIX’s Student Vote 2015. Approximately 300 students from the London, Ontario high school learned about the electoral process through a vote for under-age citizens. The school’s grade 10 Civics and Citizenship ran the vote just like a real vote, with polling clerks, ushers, scrutineers, and deputy returning officers. Results are yet to be released. Students, as well as all Canadians will know the results of the Student Vote and the adult Vote on Tuesday, October 20.”
Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia
OCT. 15, HALIFAX – Keshav organized an all-candidates’ forum at Prince Andrew High School to engage the student body. Representatives from every level of government were in attendance, including the mayor of Halifax Michael Savage, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Environment Andrew Younger, provincial leader of the opposition Jamie Baillie, and all four federal candidates from Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. Even Joel Plaskett was there to perform!
— Global Halifax (@globalhalifax) October 13, 2015
Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, Ontario
OCT. 15, KEMPTVILLE – Peyton wrote a blog post to share the election excitement at St. Michael Catholic School.
— Peyton (@legislativpeyge) October 15, 2015
Langley Aldergrove, British Columbia
OCT. 17, LANGLEY – Students at Pacific Academy got informed and excited about Canada’s 42nd election through Student Vote 2015.
When the time came for my class to vote, it was an exhilarating experience! We had a discussion in class about where each party stands on certain issues, and also had a discussion about each leader. Though the people (parents, teachers, and by extension, students) in my school overwhelmingly support one party, the discussion swayed some students after finding out more about policies and leaders. There was an air of energy in the line as ballots were cast.
Most students based their votes on matters that affected them personally, such as which party benefits their family the most financially. However, they also considered what they thought would be best for Canadians and looked to the future when casting their ballots, considering what each party had to say about the environment, healthcare, and electoral reform.
Initially, some students were apathetic to the whole voting process, since they didn’t see the importance of voting and didn’t really understand the differences between the parties. However, students who closely follow the election, myself included, filled them in on some of the issues and made them realize the importance of voting and making your voice heard. Through the general interest the majority of students had in the election, it’s an encouraging sign that Future Voters will turn up in large numbers and be genuinely interested in politics once they’re able to vote in a “real” election.