Grade 6 students cast ballots in trial election

By Sheldon Spackman
October 12, 2017 - 2:35pm

Grade six students from across Red Deer gathered at Central Middle School on Thursday to cast ballots in a trial election ahead of Monday's Municipal Election.

Students read up on the candidates running in the election ahead of time so they could make informed decisions when casting their votes.

City of Red Deer Returning Officer Frieda McDougall says it's a great way for the students to learn more about the democratic process, and for election workers to be better prepared for Monday.

"They're using exactly the same ballot [as the actual election] except it's a student ballot. They've had to research their candidates and we've also asked them to come in here with some scenarios that our voting station workers would experience on voting day. So for example, some of our students will not have I.D., some of our students might be coming from the wrong area, so any of those types of circumstances that we would normally run into. We're just trying to put our workers through the paces and give them that experience for Monday."

With voter turnout being on the low side in recent years, Central Middle School Principal Darrin DeMale highlighted the importance of holding an event like this, saying it's "teaching kids young that this is an important process of being citizens within our city, within our province." 

"We learned about Mayor Tara Veer and all the candidates and what they do and who we should vote for and who we think that would be the best person to vote for" said Central Middle School grade six student Kessler Bettenson.

Mackenzie Sullivan, also a grade six student at Central Middle School, said she was pretty excited to take part in the voting process.

"We get a say in what goes on in our town. We had a conversation on how to make decisions, how to make it fair."

Results of the grade six trial election will be made public on Tuesday, October 17.





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