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Students vote in Chilliwack

Dylan Putz (left) and Josh Guretzki, both in Grade 8 vote in a mock election at Chilliwack middle school Tuesday at lunch time. Pedro Zullo, the teacher who organized the event open to all 557 students in the school, sees the exercise as “a good foundation for a strong democracy in our future.” - Greg Laychak/TIMES
Dylan Putz (left) and Josh Guretzki, both in Grade 8 vote in a mock election at Chilliwack middle school Tuesday at lunch time. Pedro Zullo, the teacher who organized the event open to all 557 students in the school, sees the exercise as “a good foundation for a strong democracy in our future.”
— image credit: Greg Laychak/TIMES

Dylan Putz and Josh Guretzki (pictured above, both in Grade 8) were two of many students to vote in a mock election at Chilliwack middle school (CMS) Tuesday.

Pedro Zullo, a French, Spanish and social studies teacher at CMS organized the event open to all 557 students in the school, sees the exercise as a foundation for a strong democracy in Canada's future.

"We're not forcing students to vote," he said. "They can come in here during the lunch break and vote if they want to."

Zullo and helpers will tally the votes—including spoiled ballots—but won't release the results until after the official federal election count is announced.

The data will be sent to CIVIX, the non-partisan charity that sent all of the voting materials to schools like CMS around the country so they can run their own mock elections.

All of the materials from ballots to boxes are the same as the ones used by the government, according to Zullo.

The first year teacher introduced materials related to the election around to his peers, and in true democratic form they had the choice to participate or decline.

Young Sebastian Giannoulis took time out of his lunch break to cast a ballot.

"I like that we get to vote," said the Grade 7 CMS student."It gives us practice to choose the leadership."

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