Return of school elections project

Pupils across Aberdeenshire will vote on March 10 as part of the school elections project
Pupils across Aberdeenshire will vote on March 10 as part of the school elections project

Aberdeenshire’s secondary school pupils are to once again experience the elections process at first hand with the return of the Aberdeenshire Schools Election project.

Mirroring the forthcoming Scottish Parliament election, academies across the area will be campaigning, voting, and counting votes cast during a process which accurately reflects all aspects of the elections process.

The project is taking place in 17 Aberdeenshire secondary schools, each of which will stage its own contest as part of a single constituency, with up to five pupils at each school standing as candidates.

They will represent one of the five political parties in Scotland which are represented at either the Holyrood or Westminster Parliaments, namely the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party and the Scottish Green Party.

Voting will take place on Thursday, March 10, with the count being held in Stonehaven the following day.

Aberdeenshire Schools Elections are run on authentic lines, featuring the use of real polling booths and ballot boxes, a secure voting process, including ballot papers specifically printed for the project, and a single count event where results are formally declared.

While the election process will not result in appointments to political parties, the project aims to help pupils understand the election process and encourage them to participate when they reach voting age.

Co-Leader Cllr Richard Thomson said: “The project challenges pupils to hone their research and debating skills, and team-working will be an important part of the process for each of the campaign groups.

“The process is open to pupils across S1-S6, so for some this will be their first taste of the elections process, and for others it will give them a great understanding of voting as they prepare to experience upcoming elections for the first time.”