Elections PEI recruiting young Islanders to help run the polls this fall

With municipal elections on the horizon on the Island, Elections PEI is doing something a little different with their recruiting strategy this time around by actively recruiting young people to run the polls.

Elections PEI is at UPEI Tuesday encouraging young people to get involved in upcoming elections

'We find young people are becoming more passionate about politics. And we want to reach them front and centre,' Paul Alan says. (Getty Images)

With municipal elections on the horizon, Elections PEI is doing something a little different with its recruiting strategy this time around by actively recruiting young people to help run the polls.

Paul Alan, the manager of election operations and communications, says Elections PEI is looking for a cohort of young, computer-savvy Islanders to play significant roles in the process.

And the qualifications are pretty simple, he said, you just have to be a resident of P.E.I. — there's no age limit required for municipal elections.

"We find young people are becoming more passionate about politics. And we want to reach them front and centre," he said.

"If you're a responsible person, and you got good computer skills, our returning officer probably wants to talk to you."

Get involved and 'stay with it'

When voters head to the polls this year they'll be voting in the traditional ballot box, Alan said, but computers will be used to help people register to vote if they haven't already.

It's partly for that reason that Elections PEI is actively recruiting young Islanders, for their ability to wield computers and tech with ease. But he also hopes being involved in the election process encourages them to remain politically engaged for years to come.

'When it comes time to vote hopefully they will cast that first vote when they turn 18 … and they'll stay with it and stay with that electoral process throughout their life,' says Paul Alan. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"There's some youth groups for different political parties, there's youth groups encouraging other youth to vote and I love to see that and we're just trying to help them out and get them involved in the process," he said.

"Whether they want to be an information officer at our polling stations, or be a registration clerk on the computer, then when it comes time to vote hopefully they will cast that first vote when they turn 18 … and they'll stay with it and stay with that electoral process throughout their life."

Voter Registration Week began Monday and runs to Sunday, Sept. 16. Elections PEI will be campaigning online and in-person to get people to register. 

On Tuesday, Alan said, Elections PEI is at UPEI encouraging people to register and to work at the polls.

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About the Author

Cody MacKay

Web Writer

Cody hails from Summerside, Prince Edward Island, and is a UPEI History and Carleton Masters of Journalism alum. He joined CBC P.E.I. in July, 2017. Reach him at cody.mackay@cbc.ca