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Student vote sees a different looking city council

Unofficial youth vote would see Guthrie return as mayor, with six alternate councillors
Students at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School cast 142 mock ballots in parallel with the municipal election on Monday.

City council would look a lot different next term if local students determined the outcome.

Conducted in parallel with the official municipal election, the Student Vote project run by CIVIX, a non-partisan registered charity, saw students select six candidates who fell short of being elected in real life.

The Student Vote saw 1,068 mock ballots cast for Cam Guthrie in the mayoral race, taking about 54 per cent of the student support. That’s down from the 71 per cent support he saw during the official election.

With the exception of Dan Gibson in Ward 1, Ward 3’s Phil Allt and Ken Yee Chew in Ward 6, students opted for an entirely different crop of councillors. However, there were no participating schools in Ward 5 so none of those candidates were chosen.

If Student Vote results were the official measure, Gibson would be joined by Thai Mac in representing Ward 1. Officially, Erin Caton took the second seat, with Mac coming third in a tight race.

Ward 2 would have entirely different councillors, with students picking candidates Ray Ferraro and Rob Osburn over official election victors Rodrigo Goller and Carly Klassen.

Rather than Michele Richardson, who was elected alongside Allt to represent Ward 2 on council, students favoured John Bertrand.

Only four mock ballots were cast for councillor candidates in Ward 4, fictionally giving a seat to Brendan Clark. Clark received two votes from students, with one each going to Christine Billings and Hitesh Jagad.

In reality, Billings and Linda Busuttil were elected to represent the ward.

Chew carried favour with students and voters alike for Ward 6, but his wardmate varies. Student ballots would give the second seat to Mark MacKinnon, while official voters opted for Dominique O’Rourke.

Twenty-two Guelph schools participated in Student Vote, with the highest number of mock-voters at St. James Catholic High School, which had more than 1,000 youth participants.