Yukoners over than 18 weren’t the only ones who went to the polls on Sept. 20. Seventeen schools across the territory participated in the Student Vote.
Student Vote “is an authentic learning program that provides students with the opportunity to experience the voting process firsthand and practice habits of active and informed citizenship,” said the organization’s website.
Tim Falkenberg, a social studies teacher at Porter Creek Secondary School, said the vote informs students of the electoral process.
“It’s a chance to talk about active citizenship,” said Falkenberg. “It’s a chance to get them thinking about all those issues and be a little bit more involved and hopefully encourage them to actually vote in the future.”
Finn Pearson and Sandy Nagarajan are two Grade 10 students at F.H. Collins. They helped organize the Student Vote at their school.
“I think it’s really important because it forms a habit of participating in the election and ensures that people who are going to school now know to pay attention to current politics and they know how to make an informed choice,” said Pearson.
“And some people find elections scary for some reason,” said Nagarajan. “It’s not when you do it in school, it’s a calm situation.”
Both added when talking about elections it sounds very complex, confusing and intimidating but they wanted to show students it isn’t.
For Pearson and Nagarajan, they said climate change was the big issue that influenced their votes.
“I definitely was more concerned with climate change and recovering from the pandemic and making sure everyone was taken care of,” said Pearson.
“Climate change, it’s a big topic right now, but because of the pandemic we kind of stopped all the things we were doing to help with climate change,” said Nagarajan. “We have to be back on track to help with climate change.”
At their school, Pearson and Nagarajan helped set up the polling stations and preparing things for election day. When the next election is called, they said they’d be inspired to work at a real station.
In the Yukon, students would have voted in the NDP candidate Lisa Vollans-Leduc. The NDP candidate received 498 student votes or 28.74 per cent.
Hanley got 447 votes or 25.79 per cent of the vote.
The Conservatives got 17.2 per cent of the vote, the Greens 15.7 per cent and independent candidate Jonas Smith received 12.58 per cent of the vote.
Nationally, the Liberals would have earned a minority government getting 117 seats in the Student Vote. The NDP received the largest voting percentage of 28 per cent.
Contact John Tonin at firstname.lastname@example.org