500,000 under 18s to cast Student Vote ballot this week

    Non-partisan organization engages 4,300 Canadian schools in parallel
    election project

    TORONTO, Oct. 7 /CNW/ - Canadian schools add democracy to the curriculum
this week, as hundreds of thousands of Canadians under the voting age take
part in Student Vote 2008.
    Rather than simply studying democracy, students will experience it first
    Monday, October 6th through to Friday, October 10th is Student Vote Week.
    In schools across the county, students are taking on the roles of
returning officers, poll clerks and scrutineers; and hosting a Student Vote
Day where students will vote for the official candidates running in the
school's riding. Their vote follows a series of in-class and school wide
activities where students learn about political parties, platforms and local
    Student Vote polls close this Friday, October 10th and results remain
under embargo until the close of polls on official election night.
    One participating teacher notes, "Thanks to Student Vote, our entire
school is 'talking politics.' Our hallway is plastered with posters from four
parties, the competition between the parties is reflecting what is going on in
real life, my grade nine students watched the TV debate live - now if that is
not success, I don't know what is - and we will be holding a mock political
forum on Wednesday before opening the polls for voting." Suzanne, Alberta
    Student Vote was founded in 2003 by a young couple convinced that low
youth voter turnout could be reversed with a steady diet of democratic
experiences in elementary and secondary school. Student Vote has since
coordinated 6 parallel election programs and partnered with international
organizations such as Facebook.com on non-election initiatives.
    This fall, Student Vote is coordinating parallel election programming for
Canada's 40th general election and the Nova Scotia Municipal elections.
    "This is an exciting week. By Friday, we expect as many as half a million
future voters to cast a ballot and experience their democracy for the first
time. It's unfortunate that everyone continues to talk about youth voter
apathy - we always have seen the opposite with Student Vote. Our secret? Give
kids the real thing, in school, without fluff or messaging, and that's been
good enough to capture their interest and attention," stated Student Vote's
Chief Election Officer, Taylor Gunn.
    The federal election project is being coordinated in partnership with
Elections Canada, education stakeholders nationwide and Voters in Training for
the province of Quebec.
    The Nova Scotia Municipal Election project is presented in partnership
with Democracy 250; a non-partisan society responsible for the celebration of
250 years of parliamentary democracy in Canada.
    Contact Student Vote today to arrange for school visits this week.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: For media enquiries, contact Lindsay Mazzucco
at Lindsay@studentvote.ca; For interviews, contact Taylor Gunn at

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