Elections Canada

Elections Canada

September 16, 2008 11:07 ET

Elections Canada and Student Vote Partner to Engage Young Canadians in the Electoral Process

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 16, 2008) - Marc Mayrand, the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, and Taylor Gunn, Chief Election Officer of Student Vote, announced today that Elections Canada and Student Vote are once again working together to engage young Canadians in the federal electoral process.

Building on the success of previous projects, including for the 2004 and 2006 federal elections, Student Vote helps students who have not yet reached voting age to learn about Canada's democracy, and lets them cast practice ballots on official candidates running in the federal election. Students in elementary and secondary schools across Canada will vote in parallel elections for candidates in their schools' electoral districts and act out roles as deputy returning officers and poll clerks.

"Research has shown that voting habits are established early in life," said Mr. Mayrand. "This initiative offers young people a chance to experience the electoral process first-hand and to better understand the importance of participating in the democratic life of their country. Elections Canada is proud to be a partner with Student Vote."

Participating schools will receive free, non-partisan educational resources, including maps of electoral districts, posters, instructional guides and a campaign DVD. Elections Canada will also provide ballot boxes and voting screens to every participating school. In addition to studying Canada's democratic processes, students are encouraged to discuss election issues with their friends and families.

"This is our seventh parallel election, and the response from students, teachers and parents has been phenomenal," said Mr. Gunn. "More than 1,500 schools registered through our Web site last week - a record-breaking tally for the start of the campaign. It is a privilege to receive the support of Elections Canada and our team looks forward to helping teachers make the best learning experience out of this election."

Participating students will be responsible for tabulating and reporting the voting results for their respective schools. National and regional results are shared with media after the close of polls on election night (October 14); regional daily newspapers publish the results on the following day.

Schools are invited to register for this free program through the Student Vote Web site at www.studentvote.ca or by calling toll-free at 1-866-488-8775.

About Elections Canada

Elections Canada is an independent body set up by Parliament.

About Student Vote

Student Vote is a non-partisan, not-for-profit educational organization that helps young Canadians develop habits of democratic citizenship. Since 2003, Student Vote has successfully delivered 6 parallel election projects, including 4 provincial projects in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario, and two federal election projects.

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