ELECTION fever hangs in the air once again this year, as Ellon Academy kicks off its school election, with what promises to be a hotly contested tussle between the competing candidates.
Modern Studies teacher Donald Morrison told the Times that he expected the fight to be intense, with the added complication that pupils will be asked to air their views on the proposed AV referendum, which is scheduled to take place this year as part of the real elections on May 5.
“Pupils will have three ballot papers to fill in on election day, and for the past week or so I’ve been explaining to them at school assembly what the papers involve,” he said. “I’ve been explaining the differences between Alternate Vote and First Past the Post, and the pros and cons for each. It’s a difficult concept to explain sometimes, and I can see a few eyes going glazed in the audience while I’m speaking!”
“It’ll be interesting to see how much more confusing it will be for the adults voting in the up-coming election, who haven’t had the different voting systems clearly explained to them. In school, I’ve had a chance to speak to these youngsters and explain things to them, but outside, there will be a lot of people going into voting booths on May 5 who won’t understand the differences between the tow systems.”
Asked whether he thought the number of potentially spoilt ballots would possibly reflect voter confusion, Mr Morrison said it would.
“These elections will provide an interesting ‘trial-run’ for Aberdeenshire’s election team, and they’ll be watching the results closely,” he said.
Aberdeenshire Elections Co-ordinator Allan Bell said: “It’ll be interesting to see the outcome of the referendum among young people, and their voting system preferences.”