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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 16, Number 4, March 2004

Welcome to the future of Canadian democracy

An exciting initiative is coming this spring to a school near you. Student Vote 2004 is a non-partisan, educational initiative inspiring a habit of electoral and community participation among students. Student Vote 2004 will operate during the upcoming federal election, in all provinces and territories across Canada, targeting the high-school grades.

Registered schools receive an instructional resource and other materials, at no cost, for use during the campaign. Through in-class lessons and school-wide activities, students learn about the democratic process, and become aware of the party platforms and local candidates. Partnering newspapers will provide complimentary publications to registered schools to promote media literacy and an understanding of current affairs.

Closer to Student Election Day, schools receive election kits containing ballots, ballot boxes, and an operations manual. Students take over the roles of returning officers and poll clerks, and conduct a school-wide vote. Once students have voted on their local candidates, the results are tabulated and called into the Student Vote 2004 returning office. Results are broadcast on partnering television networks and published in regional daily newspapers.

A successful trial, operated during the Ontario Provincial Election, involved more than 800 schools and introduced 335,000 students to the electoral process. For Student Vote 2004, a million students will likely cast a ballot, in every riding across Canada.

To register your school for Student Vote 2004, visit www.studentvote2004.ca or call 1-866-488-8775.

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