Young Liberals of Canada call on Elections Canada to reverse decision on campus voting program

Organization fears decision will create ‘unfair barriers’ for student voters

YLC starts petition to reverse Elections Canada’s decision on not providing campus voting. 
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

In a recent announcement, Elections Canada said it will not be providing student voting locations on campuses for the upcoming federal election this Sept. 20.

Vote on Campus was started as a pilot project in 2015 and expanded to 109 colleges and universities during the 2019 federal election. The program allows students to vote in their home ridings while away at school.

According to Elections Canada, the program isn’t being offered this election because the snap election and pandemic circumstances would make planning too difficult.

In a press release from the Young Liberals of Canada (YLC), the Carleton University Young Liberals and YLC called on Elections Canada to reverse this decision.

The organization has also started a petition calling on Elections Canada to provide student voting locations on campuses this September.

“The decision by Elections Canada [to remove campus voting] will create unfair barriers for students to vote in this upcoming election and could negatively impact youth voter turnout,” the press release stated.

The YLC also said the decisions could marginalize and decrease voter turnout of students from BIPOC communities.

"Campus voting is the easiest way for students to vote. It is unfortunate that Elections Canada decided that they would not run any campus voting stations this year,” Lucas Borchenko, National Chair for YLC, wrote in an email to The Journal.

Borchenko added that YLC is committed to providing accessible information for students and young people to vote away from home.

YLC is also working to create a social media campaign to provide students with information about how they can vote while at school.  

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