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Cochrane schools to participate in mock election

Bow Valley High School and RancheView School students will participate in the province wide mock election, Student Vote Alberta 2019 tomorrow (April 15.
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Bow Valley High School and RancheView School students will participate in the province wide mock election, Student Vote Alberta 2019 tomorrow (April 15.)

More than 170,00 students from more than 1,340 schools ranging from elementary to high school are participating in the event.

The involved schools will represent all 87 of the electoral division in the province.

“With 75 per cent of all elementary and high schools in the province participating, this is the largest Student Vote program held in the province to date,” said Taylor Gunn, President of CIVIX, the company responsible for organizing Student Vote.

Students will take on the rolls of electoral officers as well as voting citizens and the results will be tabulated by CIVIX and released publicly after the actual election’s polls close at 8 p.m. on April 16.

The program seeks to educate students on the voting process and how to make an informed decision.

"Students have definitely had a chance [to learn] the different platforms that the various parties brought to the table for the campaign," said Grant Hoe, teacher for Bow valley High School.

"Our grade nines, in addition to that, have gained a lot of familiarity with how elections are run. [They] organized an information/advertising campaign about the vote, as well as setting up the polling stations and organizing the jobs of registering voters, balloting, and the counting/scrutinizing."

CIVIX has been co-ordinating student vote events since 2003. There have been 42 events to date.

The results of previous student votes have often mirrored the actual election results.

“The Student Vote results often reflect those of the official election. In the 2015 Alberta election, they were actually almost identical,” said Dan Allan, director of content for CIVIX.

"However, there have been other instances where results have been quite different (such as BC in 2017)."

The Student Vote project is supported by ElectionsAlberta, The Alberta Teachers’ Association, the Edmonton Community Foundation, the CalgaryFoundation, the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada