Engaging youth, increasing voter turnout & being heard!
Federal Election 2015 – This Time We Decide
This Time We Decide, was a get-out-the-vote initiative targeting an increase in youth voter participation through a strategy of encouraging students to “vote social.” The framework of the campaign focused on empowering students to get to the polls by using positive language, and avoided promotion of traditional low levels of youth voters as a means to guilt students into voting in higher proportions. The campaign language stressed the urgency of the election given the close margins in many ridings, and the potential that young voters could decide the outcome of the election.
Record numbers of youth voted in the 2015 Federal Election. Including an increase in first-time voters from 40.5% in 2011 to 58.3% in 2015. BC saw the largest increase in youth voter turnout in the 18-24 and 25-34 age demographics
Provincial Election 2017 – Students are Voting
Students Are Voting, was a provincially focused get-out-the-vote initiative employing the same strategy from This Time We Decide targeting youth voter participation through a strategy of encouraging students to “vote social” and emphasized the importance of engaging in the electoral process. We used several key online engagement tools to reach potential voters and provided basic information about voting at critical times during the election.
The strategy was successful and the election was very close. Fewer than 2,000 votes separated the two parties with the most votes and several ridings were decided by fewer than 200 votes.
56.2% of voters aged 18 to 24 voted in the May 2017 BC election – 8.3% increase over the 2013 election and it’s also a higher turnout than those voters aged 25 to 44. In fact, virtually the same percentage of voters aged 18 to 24 voted as those aged 45 to 54.
The numbers reported demonstrate that young people are not apathetic, they are informed about the issues and making their voices heard!