On-campus and friendship centre polling brings in 70,000

More than 70,000 people voted in a pilot project that opened polling stations on campuses and aboriginal friendship centres across the country.

Elections Canada pilot project focused on groups with low voter turnout

Travis Perry, provincial chairperson with the Canadian Federation of Students, says students are frustrated with the current political situation and are looking for change. (CBC)

The numbers are in for an Elections Canada pilot project that brought voting stations to students and aboriginal voters across the country.

More than 70,000 people registered and voted at the polling stations over four days, from Oct. 5-8. The booths were located at 38 campuses and 13 friendship centres, as well as at two YMCAs.

The trial project brought four voting stations to Saskatchewan, including two at the University of Regina, one at the University of Saskatchewan and one at the friendship centre in Ile-a-la Crosse.

Student Kelsey Briens said she convinced her friend Thong Ta to vote at an on-campus polling station at the University of Regina. (Micki Cowan/CBC)

Anyone could vote at the locations, although the program was designed to target groups with lower voter turnout, or who face barriers to voting.

In 2011, fewer than 39 per cent of Canada's more than 3 million youth voted. Turnout for people between 18-24 years old was the lowest of any age group in the country. 

The numbers in Saskatchewan were even lower than the federal average, with 32 per cent of young women voting and 29 per cent of young men. 

Marie-France Kenny, regional media advisor for Elections Canada, says the organization will be evaluating the program after the election.

Chief electoral officer Marc Mayrand said he's pleased with the program's success. 


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