MLA Report: Increasing voter turnout among young people

Every year I visit high school classrooms to talk about the parliamentary system and the issues that matter to students...

As we prepare to head into another election, there will be plenty of discussion about the falling rates of voter turnout; and eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 25 are least likely to vote.

This is a very sad fact considering the vast majority of elected officials at all levels of government are over 40, and these demographic factors create a situation whereby the issues that are of most importance to the younger members of our society can be completely overlooked.

As the MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke, every year I visit high school classrooms to talk about the parliamentary system and the issues that matter to students.

Even when the class I am attending is on a Monday morning or the last class on a Friday, I find the students to be highly engaged.

They are articulate and well-informed, and they are excited about the prospect of voting.

But sadly, based on the statistics, many of these students will become one of the many in this age bracket who doesn’t vote.

The Chief Electoral Officer of British Columbia has recommended that the age of voter registration should be lowered to 16 to enable Elections BC to register new voters while they are still in school.

The evidence shows that young people who are registered to vote are more likely to make their voices heard at election time.

In response to the Chief Electoral Officer’s recommendation, the New Democrats have tabled legislation that will lower the age of voter registration to 16.

Unfortunately, the BC Liberals chose not to proceed with the legislation during the last legislative session before the election. But the New Democrats have promised — should we be chosen to form government — that we will pass this important piece of legislation.

Make sure that you are registered with Elections BC. If you did not recently receive a voting card in the mail from Elections BC, you need to check your registration. You can register online at www.elections.bc.ca.

Norm Macdonald is the NDP MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke. He can be contacted by email at norm.macdonald.mla@leg.bc.ca or by phone at 1-866-870-4188.

 

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read