The city election is an important one for young people, but getting them out to vote will still be a challenge, say observers.
People under 40 have ideas, get worked up about issues, but when it’s time to vote, often don’t make it to the polls, said Brian Murray with the City of Edmonton’s NextGen Committee which encourages young people to become involved in the city.
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“People don't see the connection between their daily lives and why politics matter,” Murray said.
But Murray said this election is critical for young people.
“I think young people are looking for a well-connected LRT system and buses, access to downtown and to the amenities is critical for our demographic,” Murray said.
That resonates with Edmonton teacher Lynda Vang.
“The idea of a stronger downtown, and LRT expansion, those are things I value and the fact that's at the forefront, or one of the forefront issues, it's great,” Vang said.
Edmonton does not track voter turnout among young people, but a snapshot of the last federal election doesn’t promise a strong turnout.
Only four of 10 people between 18 and 24 voted in that election compared to seven of 10 for those 55 and up.
Still many candidates in the municipal campaign are hoping to change that by speaking directly with young people through social media or at candidate speed dating events such as those being held at Grant MacEwan and the University of Alberta this week.