St. Thomas Aquinas High School students cast their ballot

Students Cast ballotSt. ThoStudents vote at STAHSmas Aquinas students went to the polls on Wednesday for their own provincial election. The Grade 11 Leadership class held the mock election which gave every student a chance to vote.

"Leadership students wanted to host the Student Vote to help everyone learn about the electoral process firsthand," said Leadership teacher, Becka Valentini. "The Grade 11 class spent weeks researching the party platforms, discussing relevant issues in class and then held the vote for the rest of their school."

Before opening the polls, the leadership students gave speeches about each political party. Every grade was called down separately so they could hear the speeches and then cast their ballot. In total 276 students voted with only 16 ballots rejected for being improperly marked.

Liberal candidate Karen Kejick finished first with 120 votes, PC candidate Greg Rickford came second with 64 student votes, Green Party candidate Ember McKillop took third place with 52 votes, and Glen Archer, NDP candidate, finished in fourth with 40 votes.

"Today they learned the true meaning behind "every vote counts". I'm really happy with how it went and proud of my class for taking on this initiative," said Valentini.

The results will be passed along to Student Vote Ontario where all of the results across the province will be tallied and then released. The aim of the program is to educate students on their right to vote which will hopefully help them make an informed decision when they can legally vote when they turn 18.