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Kids are alright and they want to vote

Thousands of students across School District 43 are casting a ballot for Student Vote 15, but many of them want their vote to count for real
Student Vote 15
Port Moody secondary students were among those participating in Student Vote 15, a program to teach them about elections and citizenship.

Lower the voting age and let students cast a ballot, say many Port Moody secondary students who are voting in Student Vote 2015, a parallel election to the national campaign for kids under the voting age.

Contrary to some adult opinions that young people don't care, students in Jay Krahn's social studies class are feeling left out. They say they have educated opinions and should be allowed to cast a ballot for real on Monday, Oct. 19.

"I don't understand why I can work the election (in the polling stations) but I can't vote," said Elida Maley, who did cast a ballot during Student Vote 2015 on Thursday but won't be allowed to on election day because she's only 17.

Student Vote 2015, which aims to engage young people in citizenship, appears to have met its goal, judging by the PMSS students who said they wished their vote counted.

Rani Abdullaziz said she believes the election campaign was divisive in that it attempted to split Canadians along ethnic lines and wishes she could cast a vote. "Canada is accepting of everybody," said Abdullaziz.

Meanwhile, River Campbell, who is 18, said he plans to vote for real on election day in the Port Moody-Coquitlam riding.

The voting exercise has been an opportunity for Krahn and other teachers to talk about issues in the election, how the voting process works and how to cast a ballot properly.

Students were also directed to websites, such as to find out which Canadian political party best represents their views.

In all, 600 PMSS students are expected to cast a ballot in Student Vote 2015, one of 47 SD43 schools expected to participate. Across Canada, 700,000 students at 7,000 schools are taking part in initiative.

Students are also acting as poll clerks and deputy returning officers, with the results to be announced after polls close on election day.

For more information on Student Vote 2015 go to