The goal of civic education is to prepare young people to participate in electoral democracy. Elections Canada offers a suite of educational resources to support teachers’ curriculum outcomes. There is another type of learning experience that may be of interest to students who are 16 or older: working in a federal election.
By working at the polls, students can learn first-hand about the inner workings of our elections. To start, they will undergo training and learn to follow the strict procedures in place to keep our elections fair and secure. They will observe how voters prove their identity and discover what political parties and candidates can and can’t do on advance polling days and election day. At the same time, students will learn the importance of neutrality in the election process and how it’s maintained. For example, as poll workers, they’ll have to avoid wearing party colours! Finally, they’ll get the chance to interact with members of their own communities as they help them actively participate in our democracy.
While the work is only for a few days, the valuable experience the students gain will look great on their resumés and allow them to serve their communities.
Poll workers are needed in every community across Canada. No matter where your school is located, you can help connect students to this first-hand learning experience. Since training is provided, no experience is necessary. Various positions are available, and all are paid (including training!). Poll workers are needed at advance polls on weekends, not just on election day, so students don’t need to miss school to take part in this unique opportunity to participate directly in a federal election—even before they are eligible to vote.
Elections Canada takes seriously its responsibility to ensure the safety of Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are taking every precaution to keep all workers safe and healthy.
Students 16 and older are eligible to work at polling stations this September. We hope you’ll help us spread the word about this opportunity to prepare future voters as they become active citizens.
To learn more about the kinds of positions available, students can visit elections.ca/jobs.