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Thousands of school pupils to vote in youth local election

Published: 16 September 2019

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Thousands of school pupils to vote in youth local election

About 13 thousand Auckland school students will cast votes in a mock local election from today.

It comes before voting opens in the official local elections this Friday.

The youth election - part of Auckland Council’s Youth Voting programme - teaches students aged 11 to 15 about local government and the importance of voting.

Auckland Council General Manager Democracy Services Marguerite Delbet says students from 74 schools have spent the last few weeks learning about how local government affects their everyday lives.

“The mock, online election will see thousands of students put their education into action.

“They’ll be able to vote for the actual candidates running in this year’s election and then compare the mock results to the official results.”

The youth election runs from 16 September until 27 September and will include a referendum question about safe transportation around schools. Students aged older than 15 can also take part.

Western Springs College Year 12 pupil Brodie Dye says, “I’ve learnt a considerable amount about the candidates and the issues affecting Auckland. I’m more than ready to vote for the candidates who reflect my views.” 

Eighteen-year-old Aorere College student Jade Nathan says she feels “well equipped” to take part in next year’s general election. “People who start voting at a young age often become lifelong voters. I intend to exercise my right to vote at every opportunity.”

A number of Auckland schools are hosting local election candidates as part of the Youth Voting programme. Candidate evenings allow students to learn more about the candidates and their policies.

The final three events will be held at Aorere College on 19 September, James Cook High School on 24 September and Western Springs College on 26 September.

Finally, Auckland Council’s pre-election survey shows Aucklanders are overwhelmingly in favour of compulsory civic education in schools. Of the nearly 2,000 Aucklanders surveyed, 86 percent believed students should be taught about local and central government and the importance of voting.

Vote Friday

Auckland businesses are supporting local democracy by signing up for Auckland Council’s Vote Friday initiative.

Staff at participating organisations will be offered 30 minutes to fill out their voting papers at work on Friday 4 October.

Our launch partners include Stuff, Spark, the Auckland Business Chamber, all three Auckland Police districts and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Sign up today, or contact the team at votefriday@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Key election dates

20 September - Voting opens

4 October - Vote Friday

8 October - Last day to post voting papers (ballot boxes will still be open)

12 October - Voting closes at midday

17 October to 23 October - Official results announced

- Find out more about the candidates in your area by typing your address into the elections website

- Sign up for voting reminders

Read more: Elections

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