Although they are not old enough to vote in municipal elections, some students at a high school in Windsor had to vote in a mock election anyway.
Students in six classes of Catholic Central High School participated in the Student Vote, an initiative of the non-partisan charitable organization Civic.
The goal of the program is to get students involved and informed about municipal issues.
About 1,500 schools across Ontario are participating this year.
“It’s really important for students to get involved in politics so we can make bigger changes for future generations,” said Lily Penrose, a 12th grader at Catholic Central.
Grade 10 student Yusif Shamo said some of his peers aren’t interested in politics — but he says they should be.
“Every vote counts,” he said.
Ruth Matthew, Civic’s project manager, said some young people may have a lack of interest or knowledge about politics, or a sense that their voice does not matter.
“So by giving them a sense of agency and ownership and empowerment, it shows them that the voting process isn’t as scary as it might seem,” she said.
Civics teacher Paul Prsa is the organizer of the Student Vote program at Catholic Central.
“Part of my civic duty and part of my job as a teacher is to educate students in that, and it’s just a natural progression to do that.” I get them probably before they’re actually able to vote, but once I get them thinking about some issues it might become a vote later.”
The results of the Catholic Central will be announced after 8:00 p.m., immediately after the polls close in the real elections.