A number of Estevan students got a sneak peek Thursday at what they can expect when they turn 18.
A handful of local schools took part in the Student Vote program which helps get kids engaged in the electoral process by teaching them about the candidates and the issues and holding a mock vote, which took place on Thursday.
Nine schools in the Estevan Constituency took part in Student Vote and, much like their parents, voted in favour of Sask. Party candidate Doreen Eagles.
The incumbent Eagles, who won her fourth consecutive election, received just over 60 per cent of the 473 ballots cast in Thursday’s vote.
Blair Schoenfeld of the NDP received 24 per cent of the vote while Sigfredo Gonzalez of the Green Party got 15 per cent.
The city of Estevan was well represented in the vote with six schools taking part in what was the first provincial Student Vote program. In the past, a Student Vote was held only for federal elections. Westview School was one of the local schools that held a vote Thursday and principal Cheri Haberstock said the process is an excellent experience for students.
“It’s just such a great way for kids to learn about the electoral process and how important it is to cast a vote,” said Haberstock who noted studies have shown when children take an interest in politics it often leads to higher voter turnout among their parents.
“It also gets them talking about politics with their parents and the issues and being that education is a provincial issue, it is close to our hearts that they know about education and who is going to be in control of education.”
Haberstock said in the days leading up to the election, the school had a display in the hallway with the issues and photos of the candidates and what their individual parties stand for. They also tied the election into their social studies programs to further inform the students.
“Grade 8, for example, is all about being involved in the electoral process. Saskatchewan is a big topic for Grade 4 social studies so it really ties into what they are doing in their classrooms.”
The vote itself was set up to emulate a typical polling station. The Grade 5 students at Westview ran the election, handling all the duties that many Estevan residents took care of during Monday’s provincial vote.
Along with Westview, Pleasantdale, Hillcrest, Sacred Heart, St. Mary’s and the Estevan Comprehensive School also took part in the program.