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Encouraging students to get out to vote

St. F.X. student Jaidyn Ciufo chats with Megan Waddington, community relations officer with Elections Canada, during the Get out the Vote campaign launch event, Sept. 27, at St. F.X. the informative and fun event was hosted by St. F.X. Student Union.
St. F.X. student Jaidyn Ciufo chats with Megan Waddington, community relations officer with Elections Canada, during the Get out the Vote campaign launch event, Sept. 27, at St. F.X. the informative and fun event was hosted by St. F.X. Student Union. - Richard MacKenzie

Vote PopUps at local libraries - People’s Place Library Oct. 9

ANTIGONISH, N.S. —

The federal election is fast approaching and all parties are doing what they can to swing votes in their favour. But what about just making sure votes are cast at all?

That was a task undertaken by St. F.X. Student Union, which is encouraging their fellow students to get out and vote, and did so with emphasis Sept. 27 with an event in the MacKay Room at the Bloomfield Centre. 

The event was a ‘Get Out the Vote’ campaign launch and featured numerous fun activities accompanied by informative sessions, such as brief speeches by five out of the six Central Nova candidates, and representatives from Election Canada answering questions.

Speaking near the conclusion of the event, which ran from 4:30 to 6:45 p.m. on the Friday, Sarah Elliott, St. F.X. Student Union vice-president external affairs, said things were going well.

“The students were able to hear a little bit about each of their [the candidates] platforms and what they’re thinking about doing,” Elliott said, starting her recap of the event with the appearances of the Central Nova contenders.

“Another big part of this is collecting pledges to vote which is an informal commitment saying they’re planning on voting, and also planning on making an informed vote. So when students pledge to vote, they’re, statistically, more likely to vote,” Elliott added.

As for what she and other organizers of the event viewed as the biggest obstacle to getting out the student vote, Elliott summed it up in one word.

“Apathy; it’s always the number one problem,” she said.

“Especially for young people, it’s important to show them how important it is and, even, how exciting it can be.

“We need to take autonomy over our futures. So, as much as apathy is a problem, why we do these events is to make people less apathetic, and we do that by combining politics with somethings that are fun like inflatables, music and a nice photo booth. And we have a food truck outside as well,” she said, as the lively and energetic atmosphere around her illustrated the point.

Elliott concluded by encouraging folks to check out the campaign’s website – getoutthevote.ca.

“Visit there and make sure your voice is heard because it’s so important that young people are included in the conversation; this is our future, we have to take hold of it,” she said.

“We had our climate march today, Take Back the Night last night; students are engaged, so we’re just trying to show them with the Get Out The Vote campaign, it shows them with the problems they care about, how voting and voting for the right politician can align with your values and make Canada and your riding somewhere you want to be … a place which reflects your values.”

Vote PopUps

We’d like to know; what are your ‘burning topics’ in this year’s federal election?

Several public libraries in the Antigonish and Pictou area will be hosting ‘Vote PopUps’ this election season. Vote PopUps are simulated polling places/stations run by civic-minded community organizations, such as the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library.

It’s a helpful way to experience how registered voting takes place, how to correctly complete a valid ballot, and to share what issues are most important to you.

Vote PopUps help build an inclusive and vibrant democracy in Canada by demystifying the voting process, connecting people’s concerns and hopes to an election, and building a culture of engagement.

Vote PopUp is a non-partisan project led by the Democratic Engagement Exchange and supported by Elections Canada.

What to expect

A person visiting a library with a Vote PopUp station will learn about the process of voting by experiencing how to register to vote, receiving a ballot to vote, and then instruction on how to correctly complete a ballot to vote on their issue of most concern.

In addition, participants are invited to share their thoughts on why it is important to vote, and make a button saying you plan to exercise your democratic right.

For further information about Vote PopUp visit engagedemocracy.ca.

Everyone is welcome to drop by the following library locations on the dates shown.

· Antigonish People’s Place Library – Wednesday, Oct. 9

· New Glasgow Public Library – Thursday, Oct. 10

· Pictou Public Library - Tuesday, Oct. 15

· River John Public Library – Wednesday, Oct. 16

· Stellarton Public Library – Friday, Oct. 11

· Westville Public Library – Wednesday, Oct. 9

Members of the ‘Vote Crew’ were ready to welcome and answer question for those attending the attending the Get out the Vote campaign launch event, Sept. 27, at St. F.X. the informative and fun event was hosted by St. F.X. Student Union.
Members of the ‘Vote Crew’ were ready to welcome and answer question for those attending the attending the Get out the Vote campaign launch event, Sept. 27, at St. F.X. the informative and fun event was hosted by St. F.X. Student Union.

    

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