To the editor:
Many youth will be voting for the first time in the next election and will have to navigate the new barriers the Conservative government has enacted that make it more difficult to prove one’s address in order to vote.
The so-called “Fair” Elections Act will make it harder for Canadian youth to vote in the upcoming October 2015 election. The Act disallows usage of vouching for voter identity as well as usage of the voter registration card as a form of identification. These two clauses, which will make it harder for Canadians to prove their address on election day, disproportionately affect the many young Canadians who work or study away from home.
The age group with the lowest voter turnout is youth aged 18-24, with almost two thirds of young Canadian voters not casting a vote in the last election. With this in mind, our government should be one that encourages young Canadians to vote, not one that places obstacles and makes voting more difficult than necessary.
Despite this, young people across Canada have the potential to be game changers in the next election. By demanding their concerns be heard by candidates and ensuring they have adequate identification on election day, Canadian youth can overcome the barriers in place that make it harder for them to vote, and make sure their voices and concerns are heard in the next election. It is not that youth are uninterested in voting, it is that there are additional barriers in place that make voting more difficult for many of them.
Youth Vote Campaigner
Council of Canadians