It wasn't only the adult voters that selected Jeff Genung as mayor; so did the students.
In Student Vote, involving eight Cochrane and area schools, they picked Genung over incumbent Ivan Brooker by a wide margin and placed Tom Hardy third. In total, 344 voted for Genung, 198 for Brooker and 138 for Hardy.
Half of the candidates they favoured were also elected to council. They would have elected, in order of popularity, Tara McFadden, Morgan Nagel, Susan Flowers, Miles Chester, Bella Fallis and Dan Cunin. In fact, it was Morgan Nagel, Tara McFadden, Marni Fedeyko, Susan Flowers, Patrick Wilson and Alex Reed who were successful.
In total 680 ballots were cast in Cochrane by students of Cochrane Christian Academy, Holy Spirit Catholic School, Westbrook School, Cochrane High School, Ecole Notre-Dame des Valles, Manachaban Middle School, Mitford Middle School and RancheView School.
The Bearspaw Elementary School students choose Samanntha Wright to overcame incumbent Eric Lowther in division 8 (Bearspaw) of Rocky View County, mirroring the outcome of a close vote.
Students voting for Ward 5 of Rocky View Schools selected Kristyn Schmidt over Judi Hunter and Dan Cavanagh, but it was Hunter that won.
More than 80,000 elementary and high school students participated in the Student Vote project for the 2017 local elections in Alberta.
After learning about government and the electoral process, exploring the issues and candidates, and discussing the election with family and friends, students cast ballots for their local municipal council and school board trustee candidates.
Spearheaded by the nonprofit organization CIVIX, it's the first time they have conducted a Student Vote for Alberta municipal elections. They have in the past conducted votes for provincial and federal elections.
“CIVIX would like to thank all of the dedicated teachers that have made civic education a priority and added democracy to the curriculum,” says CIVIX president Taylor Gunn. “With more than 80,000 participants, we have surpassed expectations for our first-ever local elections project in Alberta.”