Student Connect

Student Connect is a program created to connect students with their communities and provide youth with an opportunity to participate in the democratic process by working in a voting place during general elections.

Participating students must:

  • Be at least 16 years old on election day
  • be in good standing with their school
  • obtain school approval to participate
  • obtain parental consent if under the age of 18


Offered to schools across the City, the Student Connect program gives students the opportunity to experience first hand the democratic process by placing participants in voting place jobs during a general election.  

Program Goals

  • Involve students in the electoral process and broaden their understanding and commitment to democracy
  • Give students hands-on learning experiences that enhance their education
  • Provide students with the opportunity to support their community
  • Empower students by showing them how they can make a difference
  • Improve voter turnout rates among the ages of 18 to 24

Student Connect was introduced in 2001 as a pilot for a City of Toronto by-election. Due to the pilot's overwhelming success and the cooperation of the City's School Boards, the program was fully implemented for the 2003 general election and has been a recruitment staple ever since.

The program provides students an opportunity to enhance the knowledge they have gained in the classroom and develop skills through practical work experience.

By informing and engaging students in the electoral process, Student Connect aims to facilitate the development of young people's democratic awareness, and provide them with evidence that they can make a positive difference in their communities and in their city.

ExpandElection Services' Role

Election Services administers student connect by providing schools with program information, application packages and reserving student positions at voting places.

Election Services will:

  • Appoint students to voting place jobs and training sessions
  • Provide the school facilitator with a list of participants
  • Train students filling voting place jobs
  • Provide supervision and support at the voting place
  • Track attendance
  • Provide participating schools with a report on the results of the program


ExpandSchool's Role

The role of the school in the student connect program starts with identifying a school facilitator. This may be a principal, vice-principal, secretary, teacher or any other faculty member. 

The facilitator's first responsibility is to ensure your school is registered and indicate the approximate number of participants. While each school determines what students will be offered the opportunity to participate in Student Connect, Election Services suggests students who are:

  • conscientious, reliable and responsible
  • active in the school or local community
  • enrolled in civics, politics or law classes
  • considering a career in customer service, public service, political science or human resources

Facilitators will:

  • Identify and select students to be offered the opportunity
  • Update participating students using the information provided by Election Services, including maps and job position information
  • Ensure interested students register online
  • Ensure school / parental consent form is completed and returned to the Election Services office


Facilitator's should expect a time commitment of approximately 15 hours over the course of the Student Connect program.


ExpandStudent's Role

Participants in the Student Connect Program will have the opportunity to gain customer service skills and valuable experience about the voting process.

Students will have the opportunity to be placed in one of the three positions available and attend the mandatory training.  During an election year, employment registration can be done online or by completing the form provided by the school facilitator.

The following positions are available:

Tabulator Officer

  • Receive ballots from voters and feed completed ballots into a vote tabulator
  • Record the hourly totals of ballots cast
  • Attend a 1-hour training session
  • Must be comfortable using electronic equipment
  • Have good customer service skills

Information Officer

  • Greet voters as they enter the voting place
  • Ask voters to have their identification ready and direct them to the ballot officers
  • Attend a 1-hour training session
  • Must have good customer service skills


Accessibility Officer

  • Greet voters as they enter the voting place
  • Attend a 1-hour training session
  • Must have good customer service skills
  • ensuring accessibility for all voters by:
  • Helping open doors
  • Operating an elevator
  • Directing voters with disabilities to the accessible entrance

Note: Transportation to and from the voting place and to the training session is the student’s responsibility.

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