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High school students opt for the right to vote at 16

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: October 23, 2012

The democracy event

The democracy event

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REAL papers, booths and a sealed ballot box were used to create as authentic an experience as possible for students from Tiverton High School who took part in a mock election event.

To mark Local Democracy Week, the school hall was converted into a temporary polling station to allow 16 and 17 year-olds to find out about the political process.

Competing for the student endorsement were four local councillors who gave speeches outlining why pupil's should vote for them.

The candidate created parties and presented their cases.

Those standing were: Cllr Janet Rendle (Community Action), Cllr Des Hannon (Citizens@16), Cllr Sue Griggs (Love Your High Street), Cllr Polly Colthorpe (Vote for U).

Emily Pike, subject leader, citizenship and guidance, said: "A mock election at this apt time, when 16 and 17 year olds have been given the right to vote in a Scottish referendum, was a really positive experience."

Consultation and youth involvement officer Amy Dugard, said: "We made the polling stations as realistic as possible, using ballot papers, booths and a sealed ballot box"

Councillor Des Hannon won the election under the banner of giving the right to vote at 16.

He said: "I didn't have to pretend for this mock election. I believe 16 year olds should get the vote. How can we expect young adults to play a responsible part in society if we don't trust them to take part in democratic decisions?"

Democracy week in Crediton: page 28.

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