Student vote closely parallels actual numbers
Grade 5 students at Somerset Elementary School gather around ballot boxes for the ridings of Kings West and Kings North sporting their Future Voter stickers, provided through the Student Vote initiative. Nancy Kelly, www.kingscountynews.ca
By Nancy Kelly
Grade 5 students at Somerset Elementary were among students across the province who followed the provincial election campaign and cast ballots for the official candidates running in the provincial election.
Students in Debbie Fisher’s class took part in Student Vote, a parallel election program for students under the voting age that coincides with official election periods. The program combines in-class learning, family dialogue, media literacy and an authentic in-school vote on the official election candidates.
Student Vote is the flagship program of CIVIX, a national, charitable organization with a mission to grow young Canadians into engaged, committed and active citizens.
Somerset School was one of more than 225 schools which registered to participate in the Nova Scotia provincial election program. Thousands of students are expected to cast a Student Vote ballot.
Elementary and high school students across the province participated in Student Vote: a parallel election program coinciding with the Nova Scotia provincial election.
After learning about the democratic process, researching the party platforms, hosting candidate forums and debating the future of Nova Scotia, students cast their ballots for local candidates.
22,003 votes were reported from 190 schools, and results were submitted from all 51 Nova Scotia electoral districts. In preliminary results, students elected a Liberal government and a PC opposition.
The Liberals won 33 seats, forming a majority government, and captured 46.0 per cent of the popular vote. Leader Stephen McNeil won his seat in Annapolis, receiving 79.2 per cent of the vote.
The PC won 10 seats and captured 27.4 per cent of the popular vote. Leader Jamie Baillie was unable to win his seat in Cumberland South, receiving 22.6 per cent of the vote.
The NDP took 8 seats and 22.9 per cent of the popular vote. Leader Darrell Dexter lost in Cole Harbour-Portland Valley, receiving 34.2 per cent of the vote.
The Green Party of Nova Scotia received no seats in the Student Vote, though they took 2.6 per cent of the popular vote. Leader John Percy was unable to win a seat in his Sackville-Cobequid riding.
This was the first provincial Student Vote held in Nova Scotia, the sixth Student Vote program held in the province and our twenty-first program overall. 20,232 ballots were cast from 149 Nova Scotia schools during the 2011 federal election.