Elections Canada

Elections Canada

January 22, 2006 15:30 ET

Elections Canada: 455,000 Future Voters Cast Their Ballots in Parallel Election

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 22, 2006) - The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, and Taylor Gunn, Chief Election Officer of Student Vote, announced today that Student Vote 2006 has recorded its highest-ever participation rate in the history of the Student Vote program.

A total of 455,566 ballots were cast this past week, from Monday, January 16 to Friday, January 20. After studying the democratic process, party platforms and election issues throughout the campaign, students voted on the real candidates running in the 2006 general election. Results were reported from 2,445 schools in every province and territory, representing more than 280 electoral districts.

Several hundred campaign events were held in schools across the country to introduce students to local candidates and party platforms. Events included candidate forums, lunchtime "political parties" and in-class visits by returning officers. Many local school events were recognized by candidates as the most challenging and rewarding of the campaign.

The results of Student Vote 2006 will be released after the polls close on election night at www.studentvote.ca.

"I am delighted to see that so many young Canadians were able to participate, many for the first time, in learning about elections and the voting process," stated Mr. Kingsley. "This is an invaluable experience for their first election, at any level of government."

Taylor Gunn, Chief Election Officer of Student Vote, said, "Our team would like to thank the incredible teachers who organized the Student Vote program with their schools. Your commitment to building higher levels of civic literacy in students will help to reverse the decline in youth voter turnout and build a habit of active citizenship. You have made a lasting contribution to the civic lives of these students and may just be inspiring a generation of voters."

Student Vote would like to recognize and thank the financial contributors to the program: Elections Canada, Canadian Heritage, EnCana Corporation, Scotiabank, the Alberta Teachers' Association, the British Columbia Teachers' Federation, the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation.

Elections Canada is an independent body set up by Parliament.

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