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Information for First-Time Electors – Youth

Elections Canada's research shows that young people (electors aged 18–24), especially first-time voters, face significant barriers to participating in federal elections.

Addressing the barriers

Community Relations Officers for Youth: In the 2015 general election, 230 community relations officers across Canada reached out to first-time voters in their communities. We are building on this success for the 2019 general election. Our Community Relations Officers for Youth:

  • Increase election awareness;
  • provide information on where, when and ways to register and vote;
  • explain the importance of registering and voting; and
  • make voting as accessible as possible for youth in the community.

Vote on Campus: For the 2019 general election, we are setting up offices at more than 115 post-secondary campuses in all 10 provinces and all three territories. We are also increasing accessibility with more voting days and longer hours of operation. This program gives students better access to information, registration and voting services.

Through our Vote on Campus program we work closely with national student associations and membership organizations to help with planning, promotion and staffing including:

  • Polytechnics Canada
  • Universities Canada
  • Colleges and Institutes Canada
  • Canadian Federation  of Students
  • Canadian Alliance of Students
  • Quebec Student Union
  • Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec

Inspire Democracy: Through our Inspire Democracy program, we connect with leaders and organizations that represent and work with youth. We offer tools and materials to inform young electors and prepare them to vote through:

Civic Education: We have offered free educational resources to elementary and secondary teachers for more than 20 years. Our renewed civic education program offers a number of teacher-tested resources that link to curricula in every province and territory, with an aim to help educators prepare and engage future voters to participate in democracy. All resources can be accessed and ordered through the Elections and Democracy website. During a general election, Elections Canada engages CIVIX to deliver its Student Vote program, a parallel election for students, to classrooms across Canada.

It's Our Vote: The 2019 general election advertising campaign is called "It's Our Vote". It gives Canadians the information they need to become a candidate, work at an election, register and vote. This social and digital campaign will help reduce barriers to voting for first-time voters (youth aged 18–24 and new Canadians), Indigenous people and people with disabilities.

Stakeholder Engagement: We have relationships with stakeholder groups that represent young people across Canada. Our focus with these groups is to ensure that we understand the issues youth face, refine our services to meet their needs and share our knowledge about electoral participation. As the election approaches, formal and informal agreements are put in place to encourage these organizations to share our information products with their members and clients. This is in addition to our field staff conducting local outreach during an election.

For more information on other ways Elections Canada is addressing barriers to voting go to: How & Where to Vote

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