QEDHS participates in Student Vote project
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Queen Elizabeth District high School (QEDHS) students took part in an organized Student Vote initiative put on by a company called CIVIX between May 31 and June 7.
CIVIX, which is a non-partisan, national registered charity dedicated to building the skills and habits of active and engaged citizenship among young Canadians, organized the Student Vote parallel election for elementary and secondary schools coinciding with the Ontario provincial election on June 7.
Between May 31 and June 7, students took on the roles of election officials and organized a parallel vote using the materials provided. The ballots were counted by each school and reported to CIVIX.
As of 4:00p.m. (ET) on June 7, 2,166 schools had reported their election results, representing all 124 electoral districts in the province. In total, 280,691 ballots were cast by student participants; 268,091 accepted ballots, 7,103 rejected ballots, 2,562 declined ballots and 2,935 unmarked ballots.
Students at QEDHS saw similar results to the Kiiwetinoong riding in the general election. The results of the QEDHS student vote were Sol Mamakwa (NDP) – 49 per cent, Clifford Bull (PC) – 27 per cent, Doug Lawrance (LIB) – 20 per cent, Christine Penner Polle (GREEN) – Four per cent and Kenneth Jones (NOP) – 0 per cent.
“We have done this in the past. For the Federal Election, we did a student vote and we also made sure students over 18 years of age had the opportunity to register and actually vote,” said QEDHS grade 11 law teacher Kevin Vinczeffy.
For grade 11 student Calvin Romyn, who has been involved in Student Vote before, this is good practice before he is able to make his voice heard once he turns 18.
“I remember doing a student vote for the Federal election in 2014 as well. It’s definitely helped me look in to each party and research Canadian politics more. Hopefully more people use this as practice so that we can make our voices heard when the time comes,” he said.
Vinczeffy said students are usually prepared and know who they want to vote for, but help is available for students who need help differentiating the political parties. With the help of a CBC app, students were able to find out which party they might be more likely to vote for.
“My students used an app called CBC Vote Compass prior to the student vote. By answering questions, the app helped guide students to political parties that they might be more inclined to support,” said Vinczeffy.
Vinczeffy finished by saying the participation is usually good within the student body and the Student Vote initiative is something the school wants to continue participating in.
“We usually get a good turnout among students. It’s good to get students involved in the voting process through these initiatives. Moving forward, it’s definitely something the school wants to continue taking part in,” Vinczeffy concluded.