P.A. students exercise their right to vote

By Spencer Sterritt
October 25, 2016 - 3:31pm
Social studies and history teacher Kelly Klassen (right) overseeing the substantial turnout of students trying their hand at voting.
Social studies and history teacher Kelly Klassen (right) overseeing the substantial turnout of students trying their hand at voting. Spencer Sterritt/paNOW Staff

Secondary students across the country learned what it’s like to vote, and Carlton was no different.

Through the Student Vote initiative, students at Prince Albert schools cast their ballots today, Oct. 25, just like they would at a real polling station on election day tomorrow.

At Carlton Comprehensive High School, history and social studies teacher Kelly Klassen guided all grades through the process. He said it’s an important initiative because it takes away any fears students may have and instill the idea of voting in them.

“Our hope is to get them involved in the democratic process early and by the time they’re 18 or 20 there’s a comfort level to vote and maybe even that desire to learn more about issues for future elections,” he said.

As well, Klassen said hosting student voting is a chance to show candidates at all level of government how important youth are to the nation. He said he’s had interactions with students who are interested in federal and provincial elections but don’t give any mind to municipal campaigns because they don’t see how local politics will affect their lives.

“I think the important part is if people running for office see that young people do care. At least they see the numbers, there’s a chance for change,” he said.

In previous years candidates have spoken at Carlton. Klassen said while a mayoral forum was held in their auditorium, the candidates didn’t speak to students because of scheduling issues.

Grade 12 student Denae Nyberg, who organized the voting as part of her social studies class, said it’s important to demystify the process to encourage larger voter turnout.

“Some of the people who don’t vote probably don’t because they don’t know how to,” she said.

For Grade 9 student Zedrick Uson, the chance to try his hand at voting changed his perspective on the process.

“I now see what the meaning of voting is,” he said admitting before he never paid attention.

P.A. residents head to the polls tomorrow, Oct. 26.

 

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