University of Alberta Students’ Union Launches Nationwide Get Out the Vote Campaign to Encourage Students to Vote in Federal ElectionNews Staff - Wed Sep 04, 2019
Edmonton, AB - Today, the University of Alberta Students’ Union is launching a Get Out the Vote campaign, in collaboration with the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) and 35 other student associations across the country, to encourage students to vote in the federal election. During this non-partisan campaign, the Students’ Union and volunteers will be throwing events, hosting all-party debates, and utilizing street teams to engage students on campus and make sure they know that voting is their chance to help shape the future.
For many years, younger generations have been noticeably absent in elections. Many young people were either intimidated by the voting process, felt that their vote didn’t make a difference, or faced barriers such as not having the right proof of address or identity at the polls. To combat this problem, CASA ran its first iteration of the Get Out the Vote campaign in 2015, and managed to get 42,000 students to pledge to vote. That same election, voter turnout among 18-24 year olds increased by 18%! It became clear that mobilization efforts, such as CASA’s, as well as political parties’ efforts to connect with young people, made a big impact.
Due to the success of CASA’s 2015 campaign, the Students’ Union has decided to participate again in 2019 and help the student body get to the polls this fall.
“Throughout the Get Out the Vote campaign, we will be asking students to pledge to vote online at getoutthevote.ca,” explains Adam Brown, Students’ Union Vice-President (External) and Chair of CASA. “Studies have shown that having a person promise to vote, especially to a peer, is an effective way of ensuring that they show up on voting day.”
Brown adds, “At the University of Alberta, we will also be reminding students when and where they can vote, as well as driving up engagement through student groups and on social media to make information about the election as accessible as possible.”
This year, voting should be easier for University of Alberta students. Because students have generally not yet settled in one place, they have traditionally faced difficulty proving their address and voting in elections. Fortunately, at the University of Alberta, students will have the opportunity to vote right on campus a few weeks before election day! Also, students will be able to use a wide variety of documents to prove their address, including leases, residence letters, and more, making the process much simpler.
Brown continues, “With over 2 million post-secondary students across Canada, we have an opportunity to be a pivotal voice in this year’s election. We saw the impact that efforts to engage with students had in 2015, and we’re looking forward to continuing that momentum this year.”
Students who want to participate in the campaign can visit getoutthevote.ca to pledge to vote or contact the Students’ Union to participate in on-campus campaign events.
The Students’ Union is the official representative of more than 32,000 undergraduate students at the University of Alberta.
For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact:
External Advocacy Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, national student organization composed of 23 student associations representing 280,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. With its partnership with the Quebec Student Union (QSU), CASA represents a total of 360,000 students across Canada and presents a national student voice to the federal government. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative, and of the highest quality.
Director of Operations and Communications