The aftemath of the 2018 municipal election would have looked considerably different if it had been the students of Juniper, Deerwood and École Riverside schools casting ballots, the results of StudentVote show.
The tally of the 659 votes by 97 students recorded in the mayoral and council election at the School District of Mystery Lake (SDML) school saw Penny Byer declared the winner with 33 votes, four more than runner-up Colleen Smook, who received one more vote than Ron Matechuk. In the real election, Smook beat out Matechuk and Byer came third. Both the real and mock election saw Ryan Brady finish a distant fourth, though in the StudentVote tally he received seven votes – a comparatively larger percentage than the less than three per cent of 2,785 ballots he managed in the actual election.
Only two of the candidates elected to council in the real election – Kathy Valentino and Jeff Fountain – were elected by the students at the three schools, though Chiew Chong, who finished tied for eighth in the real election, was also among the winners elected by the students.
Valentino led the way among student voters in the council mock election, collecting 46 votes, followed by Bryan Young with 45, Fountain with 42, Ellis with 41, Paul Beck with 39, Adey Adeyemi with 38, Chong with 36 and Tim Gibson with 32.
For the StudentVote school board election, which saw 385 votes combined cast at Juniper and École Riverside schools (Deerwood students did not vote for school trustees), the top seven were Don MacDonald, Jill Quilty, Leslie Tucker, Lindsay Anderson, Michelle Tomashewski, Peter Aarinola and Samantha Scibak. Quilty, Aarinola and Scibak were not elected in the real election, but Samantha Chartrand and Saima Aziz were. Guido Oliveira, who got the most votes among school trustees in the real election, finished last among the 11 candidates in the student tally.
StudentVote is a hands-on learning program to help students learn about democracy and to practise being active and engaged citizens. Throughout Manitoba, more than 11,000 students participated in the mock election this year.