Students select candidates as Student Vote hits Edmonton classrooms

Candidates who want Brandon Gratton’s vote must explain how they plan to spend Edmontonians’ tax dollars, and reconsider the city’s separated bike lanes.

Lucky for them, they’ll have at least six more years to earn his support. Twelve-year-old Gratton is one of thousands of students at 225 Edmonton schools voting for the first time in a simulated civic election.

“I honestly was excited. I like the fact that we vote to see if our selection would be different than the parents and the adults — to see whether our society would be different or the same,” Gratton said.

Although Alberta students have previously marked mock ballots during federal and provincial elections, it’s the first time the Student Vote program has come to Alberta schools during a civic election. There are 934 schools taking part across the province.

At H. E Beriault Catholic Junior High School at 8125 167 St. NW Thursday morning, Steven Bain’s Grade 8 social studies class had morphed the small gym into a polling station. Working as deputy returning officers, the teens prepared a voter’s list for each class, checked each student’s identification, signed and distributed ballots, and watched over the polls.

All 420 students at Beriault were tasked with studying a selection of mayoral, council, and school trustee candidates before marking their ballots.

“It really gets kids to think about the candidates, spot issues, to have discussions, and it lets them know how to become an engaged, active, informed citizen,” Bain said Thursday.

Students select civic candidates for first time

Sam Malick (13-years-old) puts his ballot in the box during a mock municipal election at H.E. Beriault Junior High School in Edmonton on Thursday October 12, 2017. The Edmonton municipal election will be held on Monday October 16, 2017. (PHOTO BY LARRY WONG/POSTMEDIA) Story by Janet French
Larry Wong, POSTMEDIA …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

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