STUDENT VOTE - Grade 6 student Roman White fills out some information at a trial election held at Central Middle School. Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express

WATCH: Red Deer students cast their ballot

Grade 6 students take part in trial election

The Central Middle School gymnasium was packed with excited future voters on Thursday.

Today marked the second day of training for election workers to be ready for Monday.

More than 170 Grade 6 voters from across Red Deer came out to the school to participate in a trial election, where they got the chance to cast their ballot.

“The trial is really to put all of our election workers through their paces so that they understand what to expect on election day and are ready to deal with serving our voting community, but we’re also getting our students to participate in the democratic process,” said Frieda McDougall, returning officer with the City of Red Deer.

She said the youngsters got to use a student ballot to cast their votes.

As part of their Grade 6 curriculum, students have been learning about local government. The trial election allowed them to experience the election process first hand by casting their ballots for the official election candidates.

McDougall said students had to research their candidates ahead of time, and were asked to come into the trial with some scenarios that the voting station workers would experience on voting day.

“So for example some of our students will not have ID, some of our students might be coming from the wrong area, so any of those types of circumstances that we would normally run into. We’re just trying to put our workers through the paces and give them that experience before Monday,” she said.

This is the second time where the City has done a trial election.

“We actually have always partnered with our school boards in terms of having them come visit City Hall, interact with council and learn about local government.”

McDougall said in targeting Grade 6 students, a lot of them will go home and talk to their parents about the voting process.

“What they’re doing is they’re engaging their parents and we think that’s also going to help contribute to our voter turnout on Monday.”

Principal of Central Middle School Darrin DeMale said the teachers have spent a significant part of their classes talking about the election with students and getting them learning about what they’re voting for.

“I think this is important to get the kids in and learning about the process as early as they can,” he said.

“They were excited today. They got to come down there and got to be behind the cardboard and place their own votes. For them this is really meaningful.”

Grade 6 student Kessler Bettenson was excited to cast his ballot.

“This is pretty cool because we’re not actually old enough to vote, but it was cool to get the experience on how you to vote and how that works and so we have been learning about it in class,” said Bettenson.

He said it’s important to do some research ahead of time so you know who you think you should vote for.

“It’s cool because they came to our school and we got to vote like we were 18-year-olds,” he said.

Grade 6 student Mackenzie Sullivan said she was also excited to get to take part in the process.

“We get a say in what goes on in our own City,” she said, adding that she’s mostly done research on the mayoral candidates.

She said the process was helpful and her and her classmates were excited about it.

“We had a conversation on how to make decisions and how to make it fair.”

The results of the student vote will be tabulated and shared with media on Oct. 17th.

carlie.connolly@reddeerexpress.com

Like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RedDeerExpress/ and follow us on twitter at https://twitter.com/RedDeerExpress.

Just Posted

City council supports $25,000 for Downtown Community Development Committee

Funding supports stakeholders in developing programs enhancing downtown safety

Red Deer’s Gord Bontje gives $500,000 to A Better World

Co-owner of Laebon Homes gives the gift to celebrate 60th birthday

Tyler Steenbergen etches his name into Canadian hockey history

Sylvan Lake native scores huge tournament-winner at World Juniors

WATCH: Red Deer Entertainment Awards honours Red Deer’s burgeoning talent

The awards looks to become more inclusive of the entire entertainment scene in year three

JoJo Mason heads to Red Deer’s Bo’s Jan. 29th

Mason will be performing tunes from his debut album Both Sides Of The Bar

WATCH: Red Deer Entertainment Awards honours Red Deer’s burgeoning talent

The awards looks to become more inclusive of the entire entertainment scene in year three

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Ontario man charged with selling Canadian’s usernames and passwords

Ontario man ran site that peddled billions of pieces of personal data: RCMP

Hawaii missile-alert mistake feeds doubts about a real emergency

A push alert that warned of an incoming ballistic missile to Hawaii and sent residents into a full-blown panic was a mistake

Most Read