Sicamous kids get a chance to vote

Young voters favour nature and safety in election day questionaire.

Elections are usually reserved for those 18 years old and older to make the decision on who will govern them.

The District of Sicamous decided to get the community’s young people involved in the process, gauging their priorities with a kids vote questionnaire.

Ballots were taken from the young people in the lead up to the adult election and the results are now in.

The first question posed to the young voters was: “In Sicamous, what is most important to you?” When filling out their ballots the children were asked to choose between recreation, such as parks and playgrounds, safety considerations like firefighting and policing, water and streets, arts and community life and nature.

Nature edged out safety by a single vote, netting 20 of the 73 votes received. Sixteen voters marked their ballots in favour of recreation and arts and community life got 13 votes, while water and streets brought up the rear with five.

Related:Voter turnout at 36% in B.C.’s municipal election

Young voters were also asked what they think the district should build in Sicamous. A bike park was the most favourably received idea, getting 26 votes. The bike park was followed closely by a bigger splash park with 25 votes and an outdoor hockey rink received 22 votes.

The kids vote ballot also asked voters to fill in one way they are active in their community. Twenty-eight ballots were returned with the option saying, “I play in the playgrounds and parks chosen.” Playgrounds and parks were followed by “I have friends in my neighbourhood” with 24 votes, “I go to community events” with 11 and “I go to the library” with 10.

Mira Malkowsky, who helped organize the vote said some of the questions were inspired by other municipalities who were doing a similar program, while others were provided by schoolchildren who visited the district offices on a tour.

Malkowsky said she was most surprised that nature and safety beat out recreation in the first question posed to the children. She added that parents bringing their children to the polling station were happy there was a way for them to get involved in the election day activities.

“Everybody seemed to really love the idea,” she said.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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