Student Voice elections are run through CIVIX and take place in participating schools. Students are taught the process of how to vote, including looking at each candidate’s viewpoints before hitting the polls. (Jessica Peters/Abbotsford News)

Student Voice elections are run through CIVIX and take place in participating schools. Students are taught the process of how to vote, including looking at each candidate’s viewpoints before hitting the polls. (Jessica Peters/Abbotsford News)

Comox Valley schools participate in student vote

Comox Valley schools took part in the student vote initiative, organized by studentvote.ca

Student Vote is a program of CIVIX, a national charity dedicated to strengthening democracy through civic education.

Student Vote uses the election as a teachable moment and enables teachers to bring democracy alive in the classroom. This hands-on learning program empowers students to experience the voting process firsthand and cast ballots for the official candidates running in the election.

Schools could register in advance to take part in a “mock” election within whichever electoral district they reside.

In Courtenay, three schools took part in the program – GP Vanier Secondary, Mark Isfeld Secondary, and Queneesh Elementary.

The students agreed with the adults when it came to the mayor. Bob Wells received 190 votes, compared to 117 for Erik Eriksson and 90 for Aaron Dowker.

The students did opt for some changes on council.

Incumbents Will Cole-Hamilton, David Frisch, Doug Hillian and Wendy Morin were reelected, along with Jin Lin and Starr Winchester.

Lin received the most votes, with 191. Cole-Hamilton had 157, Winchester had 146 votes, Frisch had 145, and Hillian received 133 votes – two more than Morin.

Brennan Day (121), Evan Jolicoeur (115) and incumbent Melanie McCollum (114) were also in the triple digits.

(In the official election, all aforementioned incumbents were all reelected, as well as Jolicoeur.)

As for the school district, while the students agreed with the adults regarding Shannon Aldinger (second, with 174 votes), Jasmine Willard was the top vote-getter, with 214.

Incumbent Janice Caton received 120 votes, while Anita Devries finished last, with 106 votes.

Aldinger and Caton won the actual election.

No Comox schools took part in the project.

In Cumberland, the students from Cumberland Community School chose to reelect Leslie Baird, and gave Tanis Frame one of the four council seats.

Sean Sullivan, at 147, received the most votes for council – one more than Jesse Ketler. (In the official election, Ketler received the most votes among village council candidates.)

The students also voted in Neil Borecky, making Troy Therrien the odd one out.

Miracle Beach Elementary was the only regional district school to take part, and the 21 students who participated agreed with the electorate, giving Edwin Grieve the nod over challenger Matt Ellis, 17-4.

Kendall Packham edged out incumbent Cristi May Sacht, 11-10, in the race for school trustee.

Comox ValleyElection 2022

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