If students had their say, the 2020 election could’ve gone a little bit differently.
Just before adults took to their polling stations, students all over British Columbia took part in Student Vote Days for the 2020 B.C. election on Wednesday and Thursday (Oct. 21 and 22). Across Chilliwack-Kent, NDP candidate Kelli Paddon was the clear winner with 462 student votes. The results deviate from the real election’s numbers when it comes to second place; B.C. Greens hopeful Jeff Hammersmark came in second by a 34-vote margin above Independent candidate Jason Lum, 382-348.
The students votes brought Incumbent and former B.C. Liberal Laurie Throness into fourth place with 305 votes; he is listed as B.C. Liberal on the student ballot as well as the real ballot. Eli Gagné brought up the rear with 70 student votes. A total of 1,567 students participated across the riding.
Looking at schools from Agassiz to Harrison to Seabird Island, 189 students casted their votes. Hammersmark received 39.6 per cent of the vote for a total of 75 student votes, winning the area handily. Paddon was the next closest with 45 votes, followed by Lum with 38, Throness with 24 and Gagné with seven.
Throness saw a narrow margin of victory at Agassiz Elementary Secondary School, beating out Paddon 11-10. The remainder of the mock results mirrored the preliminary results with Lum as third with five votes followed by Hammersmark with 3. Gagné received no votes. Almost all of the 30 ballots requested were returned, creating a 96 per cent voter turnout.
Hamersmark won at Kent Elementary with 43 votes, his closest opponent being Lum with 29. Paddon received 11 votes, Throness had 11 and Gagné received seven. 110 of the 250 requested ballots were turned in, making for a 44 per cent voter turnout.
Seabird Island Community Secondary School was overwhelmingly Green with 58 per cent of the votes (29 votes total) going to Hammersmark. Paddon received 15 votes, followed by Lum with four and Incumbent Throness with two. Gagné received no votes.
No data was available for Agassiz Christian School, but 15 ballots were requested.
Provincially, the NDP swept up 65 per cent of the seats and nearly 40 per cent of the votes in the mock election, followed by the Greens with 27.7 per cent of the student votes and B.C. Liberals with 25.5. The Conservatives were the next closest with a mere 2.45 per cent of the student votes.
Student Vote Day is a CIVIX project. CIVIX is a non-partisan organization dedicated to building civic engagement in young Canadians.
The results of the real 2020 election are expected to be finalized after Nov. 6.
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