Ayden Christenson casts his ballot in Waverley Memorial School’s Student Vote on Oct. 16. (Healey photo)

FALL RIVER: Yesterday, Oct. 15, and today Oct. 16, more than 10,000 elementary and high school students from throughout Nova Scotia will take part in the Student Vote program for the 2020 municipal elections.

A total of 145 schools have registered to participate in Student Vote, representing 31 municipalities.

Participants include 64 schools in the Halifax Regional Municipality, 16 schools in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, and 10 schools in the Municipality of the County of Kings.

Tarin MacLennan. Landon Jessop. Sam Cameron, Liam Conlon prepare to cast their Student Vote at WMES in this 2019 file photo. (Healey photo)

In District 1 HRM (Waverley-Fall River-Musquodoboit Valley), Oldfield Consolidated; Georges P. Vanier Junior High; Waverley Memorial; and Lockview High were scheduled to cast ballots.

For District 14 HRM (Upper/Middle Sackville-Lucasville-BeaverBank), Hillside Elementary; Sackville Heights Junior High; and Sackville High were to vote.

For Chignecto Central Regional Centre for Education, just students at Uniacke District in Mount Uniacke were to cast ballots for the municipal election in the Municipality of East Hants.

The Student Vote program has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic and the new safety protocols required in schools and classrooms. Project activities were adapted to allow for physical distancing and online learning. While most schools will still be voting with paper ballots, schools were given the option to vote online.

Student Vote is a parallel election for youth under the voting age, coinciding with federal, provincial and municipal elections. 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.

The Student Vote results are shared with the media for broadcast and publication following the closing of the official polls. They are released at the close of polls on Saturday, October 17 (7:00 p.m.).

CIVIX is a national registered charity dedicated to building the skills and habits of active and informed citizenship among young Canadians. CIVIX provides experiential learning opportunities to help young Canadians practice their rights and responsibilities as citizens and connect with their democratic institutions.

Student Vote is the flagship program of CIVIX. Since 2003, CIVIX has delivered more than 45 Student Vote projects across Canada at the federal level, and various provincial, territorial and local levels.

Last year, 1.2 million Canadian students participated in Student Vote Canada 2019, representing 9,000 schools from all 338 federal ridings – including more than 38,000 Nova Scotia students from 303 schools.

More than 13,000 Nova Scotia students participate in the Student Vote for the 2016 municipal elections, from 112 schools in 32 municipalities.