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Nova Scotia youth to participate in municipal elections through Student Vote program

Student votes
A student votes in a mock federal election in Moncton at Forest Glen School in 2015. Brion Robinson/Global News

A Canadian charity says around 10,000 elementary and high school students in Nova Scotia are expected to participate in Student Vote — a parallel election for youth who are not yet eligible to vote in elections.

According to Civix, 145 Nova Scotia schools registered to participate in the program, with voting being held on Thursday and Friday just ahead of the Nova Scotia municipal election.

Read more: Cape Breton Regional Municipality 2020 municipal election profile

“Students learn about government and the electoral process, explore the issues and candidates, discuss the election with family and friends, and participate in an authentic vote,” read a news release.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Civix said the Student Vote activities adapted to new safety protocols like physical distancing and online learning.

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The release says most students will use paper ballots but online voting was also made available.

Click to play video 'Municipalities encourage advance voting as electronic and telephone options kick off this week' Municipalities encourage advance voting as electronic and telephone options kick off this week
Municipalities encourage advance voting as electronic and telephone options kick off this week

In the 2016 Nova Scotia municipal elections, over 13,000 N.S. students, from 32 municipalities, participated. And, students in the Halifax Regional Municipality matched the municipal election outcome as they, too, elected Mayor Mike Savage.

The program is offered to schools for free with support from the federal government.

Civix said in the release that in 2019, 1.2 million students Canada-wide participated in Student Vote, a program that has been active since 2003. The total number also includes over 38,000 Nova Scotia students from 303 schools.

Read more: Halifax urged to address north end gentrification as municipal election nears

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Results of the Student Vote election will be released when Nova Scotia municipal election polls close at 7 p.m. on Oct. 17.