Information for First-Time Electors – Youth
Elections Canada's research shows that young people (electors aged 18–24), especially first-time electors, face significant barriers to participating in federal elections. Young people in post-secondary programs face obstacles to participating in the electoral process, and these obstacles are amplified among youth who are not pursuing post-secondary education.
Elections Canada's Inspire Democracy program seeks to reduce barriers to participating in the electoral process by offering tools, information and opportunities for electors to connect with our network and learn more about participating in federal elections. For more information, visit inspiredemocracy.ca.
Addressing the Barriers
Community relations officers for youth
Since the 2019 federal election, we have enhanced the role of our community relations officers. This program has many goals, including:
- increasing election awareness;
- providing information on where, when and the ways to register and vote;
- explaining the importance of registering and voting; and
- making voting as accessible as possible.
We have dedicated community relations officers for youth to help improve access and reduce barriers.
Vote on Campus
During federal elections, we offer special ballot voting services at numerous post-secondary institutions. We set up offices more than a hundred of post-secondary campuses in all 10 provinces and three territories. This program gives students better access to information, registration and voting services. To support the Vote on Campus program, Inspire Democracy works closely with national student associations and membership organizations to help with planning, promotion and staffing. We also connect with leaders and organizations that represent and work with youth.
Elections Canada was unable to deliver the Vote on Campus program during the 2021 election, but is committed to offering these services in future elections.
Through its stakeholder mobilization program called Inspire Democracy, Elections Canada has developed a network of stakeholder groups that represent young people across Canada. Working with these groups helps us to understand the issues youth face, refine our services to meet their needs and share our knowledge about electoral participation. As a federal election approaches, formal and informal agreements are put in place to encourage these organizations to share our information products with their members and clients. To inform young electors and prepare them to vote, we offer the following tools and materials:
- At workshop and conference kiosks
- As a downloadable toolkit about the election process and electoral participation
Inspire Democracy's outreach is in addition to our field staff conducting local outreach during elections.
For more information on other ways Elections Canada is addressing barriers, visit inspiredemocracy.ca.
Voter Information Campaign
For each general federal election, the Voter Information Campaign gives Canadians the information they needed on when, where and the ways to register and vote. This multimedia campaign helps reduce barriers to voting for new electors (youth and new Canadians), Indigenous electors and electors with disabilities. The advertising campaign includes ads targeting students living away from home, first-time electors, as well as promotion of the Vote on Campus initiative.