New Brunswick

Student leaders hope youth vote increases this election

Student leaders hope the 2015 federal election will see more young voters turn up at the polls than ever before.

Post-secondary students are being urged to get out to the polls to cast their ballots

Students at NBCC in Moncton casting their ballots.

Student leaders hope the 2015 federal election will see more young voters turn up at the polls than ever before.

Historically, 18 to 24-year-olds are the group with the lowest voter turnout, with only 39 per cent of the youngest eligible voters casting a ballot in the 2011 election.

Pascal Haché is the president of FEECUM, the University of Moncton student federation.

"The students wanted to vote," says Haché. "We've seen a lot of students coming through to our events and asking us questions," he said. 

There was a lot of problems to get the vote out.- Pascal Haché, University of Moncton student federation
Pascal Haché is the president of the University of Moncton's student federation. He hopes young voters, particularly students, show up at the polls for this election.

The student federation arranged for a bus to bring students to the advance polls last week, after Elections Canada refused a request for a polling station at the university.

Haché says the focus was put on getting students to the advance polls, to help work out any voter ID problems early on.

"I think students have a very particular status, where they move a lot and their licence doesn't always reflect the address where they live, so there was a lot of problems to get the vote out.

"Today, we're doing a lot of Facebook, a lot of Twitter, trying to get our main students, our leaders … to go out and vote and push their friends to go vote."

Annie Sherry, a member of the Mount Allison Student Union, is also trying to rally voters over social media.

Student Brad Fitzpatrick says he doesn't plan to vote in the federal election. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

She says the student union has made an effort to be a comprehensive source of information for students interested in voting.

And to prove she's serious that every vote counts, Sherry took an oath at the polling station, vouching for her roommate.
Mount Allison University's student union encouraged students to get out and vote. (Twitter)

At the NBCC Moncton campus, young voter Thomas Waterman says he doesn't like his options, but he plans to exercise his right to vote.

"For sure, I have to decide one way or another because, well, voting is a really important thing, so I'm going to try to decide before then."

But for all of the excitement on social media, not everyone is caught up in the wave of election excitement.

Brad Fitzpatrick doesn't plan to vote. When asked why he said, "I don't really know. I don't feel like I need to."

He says he hasn't talked to his parents or friends at all about the election.

"I don't really care about that stuff."

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