Penticton students have their say in B.C. election

Carmi Elementary students voted through CIVIX Students Vote. (Lesley Evans photo)
Carmi students vote on Thursday in their own election process. (Lesley Evans photo)
Carmi students vote on Thursday.
Students from Carmi Elementary vote in their own B.C. election (Lesley Evans photo)

Carmi Elementary students joined thousands of primary and high school students throughout B.C. who took part in Student Vote for the 2020 provincial election.

Eight Penticton schools and four in Summerland took part in this year’s vote. With the amount of schools voting, it represents all 87 provincial electoral districts, said CIVIX , who organizes Student Vote during every election.

On Wednesday and Thursday (Oct. 21 and 22), students took on the roles of election officials and coordinated the voting process for their peers.

CIVIX provides ballots, ballot boxes and voting screens to create a more authentic experience. CIVIX will tabulate the results by electoral district and release them publicly following the close of polls on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 8 p.m.

READ MORE: The 2020 Election is this Saturday, Oct. 24

One of the Penticton schools that were in voting mode on Thursday was Carmi Elementary.

“Every election, CIVIX organizes the Student Vote. It’s such a great program because they provide lessons and some supplementary videos, PowerPoints and worksheets that we are able to use,” said Lesley Evans, Grade 5 teacher at Carmi Elementary. “We have tried to get through as much of it as we can for this election given the short time frame.”

“Our Grade 5 class, along with our Grade 3/4 class, have been learning about the levels of government in Canada, what the leaders and various representatives are called, and about the electoral process.”

READ MORE: Record breaking mail-in ballots

Holy Cross Elementary, Columbia, Uplands, Parkway, Penticton Christian School, Wiltse Elementary and KVR Middle School also participated in voting. In Summerland, Trout Creek Elementary, Summerland Middle and Secondary School and Unisus School.

Evans said the students have become more engaged as the lessons have progressed.

“Every time that we do this, it is often remembered at the end of the year as one of their favourite activities. I think it’s because it gives them a sense of participating in a ‘real world” situation.’ They see the signs around town and hear their families talking about it, then are given the opportunity to actually do it themselves.”

The students learn about the candidates’ platforms, the students start asking questions about how are they going to achieve that, or where does the money come to pay for that, said Evans. They ask questions about jobs, rent, housing and questions about families, education funding and health care.

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