Get to know your role as a voter this election season

Nation-wide campaign aims to answer your election questions

In 2015, over 58 per cent of newly eligible voters turned out to vote in the federal election. Submitted/Get Out the Vote

Canadians will be making their way to the polls on Oct. 21 to determine who will be Canada’s 24th prime minister. Mount Allison’s Student Union (MASU) has teamed up with the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), in hopes of informing and educating Canadian youth on party leaders, policies and platforms. CASA is a student advocacy group that aims to make post-secondary education more affordable and accessible across the country in order to create higher-quality institutions.

Get Out the Vote (GOTV) is a campaign that aims to increase voter turnout among students. “Our main goal is not to influence votes or to support one party,” said Rohin McKenney, a volunteer for the campaign. “We just want everyone to know how to vote and why it is important to do so.”

“The MASU has been collaborating with the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and 36 other post-secondary campuses across Canada to run the best Get Out the Vote campaign yet!” said Élise Vaillancourt, the MASU VP external affairs and a GOTV campaign lead. She discussed connections between the community and the campaign as she added, “We are happy to be cross-promoting events with the Political Science and IR Society, as well as Nature NB.”

McKenney explained that the campaign is important because many people think that youth do not care about voting. Despite this, he went on to explain, “Voting positively impacts society by shaping the federal election system.” CASA wants to ensure youth are educated and able to voice their opinions through the voting process. “Overall, the outcome of the campaign is to ensure that students have the resources, information and access that they need to vote in the federal election,” Vaillancourt emphasized. “The youth vote matters and when students get out the vote, their voices are heard.”

The campaign’s official website, getoutthevote.ca, offers a selection of useful information that can ease students into voting comfortably. From information on how to vote to addressing voting on campus, the organization has covered all areas of election season.

“So far we have collected around 400 pledges and we hope we can collect even more with the help of our amazing volunteers,” said Mearon Mulugeta, the GOTV social media and logistics coordinator. “Please make sure you pledge to vote, then tell your friends to pledge, then tell your friends’ friends to pledge!”

GOTV has made headlines across Canada as it has taken forms in many different institutions. MASU and GOTV hosted an all-candidates debate and meet & greet at Mt. A on Sept. 25. They will also be running an “Elections and Chill” trivia night at the Pond on Oct. 10, preceding the CBC French debate.

To get more information on the campaign or how to vote, visit getoutthevote.ca or email Vaillancourt at [email protected]

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