Calgary volunteers teach non-voters how to cast a ballot

VoteKit Calgary is helping people who have never voted before by showing them the basics of how to cast a ballot.
Voting day is on Oct. 21, but there are still plenty of other options when it comes to casting a ballot including advanced voting or special mail-in ballots. (CBC)

Volunteers hope a little practice casting a ballot will get more Calgarians to vote in the upcoming municipal election.

VoteKit Calgary, a volunteer-run program, targets people who have never voted before by showing them the basics of how to cast a ballot.

"Only 53 per cent of Calgarians voted in the last municipal election and that turnout was considered high,” said Ellen Cseke, one of the organizers.

"For people who have voted before it seems like a straight forward process, but there can be some knowledge barriers to voting. Even knowing what kind of ID you need to bring is important, because I think sometimes people can have a fear of what if I show up and people turn me away and I don't get to vote."

On Monday night, VoteKit volunteers — who say they strive to be unbiased — opened a practice polling station in Saddletown.

Jennifer Want, who has never voted before, is taking part in the program.

"I don't vote. I have no clue what I'm doing,” she said. "It is very intimidating. All these other people that know what they're talking about, know who to vote for."

Want says she now plans to vote in the municipal election on Oct. 21.

"Sounds like I do have my homework cut out for me but I am happy I came,” she said.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.