Steveston-London students learn about, practice voting

Prior to Saturday’s provincial election, students at Steveston-London secondary took time this week to learn about the election process and cast their own ballots through the Student Vote BC program—which a number of other Richmond schools also participated in.

Grade 8 and 9 students voted on-site with safety precautions in place, including hand sanitizer and physical distancing. Within their learning cohorts, students listened to candidates’ platforms in their riding, then followed the normal voting steps of checking in, marking their ballot, and leaving it in the ballot box. Senior students ran the voting station, which was organized by the school’s student council.

Meanwhile, Grade 10 to 12 students—who had already experienced the process in their younger high school years—cast their votes online. And all students were prepped for the occasion with a video created by the student council that provided information about the provincial election and the three candidates in the Richmond-Steveston riding.

Principal Carol-Lyn Sakata says the voting process provided an opportunity for students to exercise their civic responsibility.

“The kids were fairly enthusiastic about (in-person voting), and my gut is that they took it very seriously,” she says.

Sakata adds that one student had a learning experience when she asked if she could call her mother because she didn’t know who to vote for. This led to a discussion about how it’s important to be knowledgeable about candidates and options before casting your vote.

Student Vote BC is open to all schools in the province free of charge. The results of the in-person voting will be released after official polls close Oct. 24.