Student Vote

Through the Student Vote program, students learn about government and the electoral process, research parties and their platforms, discuss current issues and vote for the official candidate of their choice in electoral simulations taking place in parallel with federal, provincial / territorial and municipal elections. After the official polling stations close, the results are shared with the media for broadcasting and publication.

The Student Vote program first began in 2003 with the Ontario provincial election. Since then, this program has grown steadily. In the 2019 federal election, more than 60% of Canadian schools registered to participate in our program. A total of 1.2 million students from more than 8,000 schools (representing all 338 of the country’s electoral districts) cast a Student Vote ballot. In that year, Québec was the province where the program experienced the most growth, doubling its participation rate compared to the previous federal election in 2015. In 2019, over 1,000 Québec schools registered to participate and 112,855 students voted for their local candidates.

In partnership with Elections Canada, we will organize a new edition of Student Vote during the next federal election. The program has four stages:

  1. Register your school: the program is open to all schools and is offered free of charge. If registrations are not yet open and you wish to participate in the next edition of the Student Vote, write to us at [email protected].
  2. Receive the material: the registered schools receive educational resources, posters and election materials (voting booths, ballot boxes, ballots, etc.)
  3. Take part in the campaign: take advantage of our educational resources to inform your students about the government and the electoral process and to foster a dialogue between students and their families. Various activities will allow students to research and learn more about parties, candidates and issues.
  4. Student Vote Day: students play the roles of election workers, in addition to voting for the official candidate of their choice. Results are tallied at the school, riding, provincial and national level and passed on to the media for dissemination and publication.

Independent evaluations commissioned by Elections Canada report that programs like Student Vote have a positive influence on youth participation in the electoral process. For example, the 2015 National Youth Survey found that young people who reported they had voted in a Student Vote program were much more likely to say that they had the opportunity to learn more about government and politics in high school than those who did not.

By enabling them to better understand the electoral process, as well as by arousing their interest in various political issues, civic education initiatives such as Student Vote therefore contribute to the training of future committed voters. In addition, we see that participation in a Student Vote program positively influences the decisions of family members to vote in general elections.

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