Thousands of Alberta students head to the polls in mock vote

Tens of thousands of Alberta students participated in a mock vote Monday, a day before the provincial election.

In 2015, student votes were in line with the results of the provincial election

Lam Tang is the deputy returning officer in the student vote at Ted Harrison School. (Colleen Underwood/CBC )

Tens of thousands of Alberta students participated in a mock vote Monday, a day before the provincial election.

More than 1,300 schools throughout the province participated in a student election, representing all 87 electoral districts in Alberta, a spokesperson from CIVIX Canada said. 

Ted Harrison School in northeast Calgary was one of 300 schools in the city participating.

Learning about voting at a young age makes it more likely they'll participate in the democratic process when they're of legal age, said Grade 6 social studies and language arts teacher Gemma Curry.

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"Every student has the opportunity to vote, whether they know what they're doing or not. Whether they spoil their ballot or they're making an informed decision they still get to take part in that democratic process," Curry said.

Gemma Curry is a teacher at Ted Harrison School in northeast Calgary. (Colleen Underwood/CBC)

There were 20 Grade 6 students running the polling station for about 720 kids Monday. 

"Definitely they know the candidates, the parties, the importance of voting, the role that our provincial government plays in our day to day lives," Curry said. 

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Eleven-year-old Luksh Tanvar volunteered as a scrutineer Monday, something he said he'd like to do when he's older, too.

Luksh Tanbar was volunteering as a scrutineer Monday at Ted Harrison School in Calgary. (Colleen Underwood/CBC)

"It's important that people vote, because it has so much importance on what goes on in your daily life, everyday, like new laws can be made that affect your family negatively," he said.

Lam Tang was assigned to be deputy returning officer — and encourages all adults to vote.

"Adults these days are always complaining about taxes and stuff, and if they vote for someone who wants to change taxes then you know it might happen. Otherwise if they're just complaining."

Most schools in the province are voting on Monday, but some already voted on Friday, and others will vote along with the rest of Alberta on Tuesday.

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Last time around, the student's vote was in line with the results of the 2015 provincial election. This year's results won't be released until after polls close on election night.


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