First-time voters deciding how to cast their vote

It’s three weeks until Ontarians cast their ballots in the provincial election and some first-time voters are trying to figure out who to vote for.
Thomas Houle and Brandon Martel will vote for the first time in the upcoming provincial election. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

It's three weeks until Ontarians cast their ballots in the provincial election and some first-time voters are trying to figure out who to vote for.

In Sudbury, Laurentian University students Thomas Houle and Brandon Martel will vote for the first time on June 7.

"It's kind of nerve-wracking, I'll admit," Martel said.

"It's a lot of things I never knew about, like registering to vote. I had no idea I had to do that."

Houle says politics isn't something regularly discussed at home but adds his family members do vote.

"What I'm really happy about with my family is that there's no pressure to vote for a certain party," he said.

As for navigating what issues each party stands for, Martel says he has a very long list of election issues that are important to him.

"For me, I'm very research oriented [and] I plan on specializing in finance," he said.

"So I researched every platform of the parties. I actually have a document summarizing everyone's views."

Martel adds he's watched debates, kept an eye out for any new policies announced by parties and monitoring news reports.

"I care a lot more about politicians releasing this is how much this stuff is going to cost than these big, grand promises with no actual price tag," he said.

"That bugs me a lot."

Houle says that information has been helpful and adds he is keeping an eye on a number of issues, including health care.

"I think that mental health resources being available in schools is something that really matters to me," he said.

"I was very involved in student government at my high school and one of the things I really tried to push for was making these resources more available and making students more aware that these resources exist."

For now, neither Houle or Martel say they know how they are going to vote.

"I'm going to eventually make a list of things that really matter to me without looking at the party's platforms first," Houle said.

"Then after I've made this list, I'm going to look through all their platforms, see which one aligns the most with what I think is best."

With files from Jan Lakes

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