Stephane Hamade University of Wtaerloo

Stephane Hamade, vice president of education for the Federation of Students at the University of Waterloo, says the new pilot will make voting more convenient for students. (Submitted by Federation of Students)

The University of Waterloo is one of 40 Canadian campuses that will be part of an Elections Canada pilot project, aimed at increasing student participation in the fall federal election.

Elections Canada says it is going to set up an office on campus for out-of-town students who want to vote in their home ridings. 

The agency hopes it will make voting more convenient for students, said Stephane Hamade, vice president of education with the Federation of Students at the University of Waterloo.

"[The office] will set up at the beginning of October for a week and then students can go to one of the three polling locations on campus and they'll be able to vote in their home riding," said Hamade.

"They'll still need the two pieces of ID, one of which has their address on it, to be able to vote."

In the 2011 federal election, the government reported a participation rate of 38.8 per cent of eligible voters aged 18- to 24-years-old, well below the national average of 61.1 per cent. 

Currently to vote in their home riding, students must travel back home or mail in their ballot. Students can choose to vote in their Waterloo Region riding, but may not have time to get the required proof of residency address in time for October 19th, Hamade said.

This pilot project is also open to residents and students from schools other than the University of Waterloo who wish to vote in their home riding.