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Voting easier for university students

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 5/10/2015 (834 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

ELECTIONS Canada has a new carrot to entice students to vote this year.

The more than 28,000 students at the University of Manitoba will only have to take a small detour this week to Pembina Hall Student Lounge to cast their ballot for the Oct. 19 election.

And here's the kicker: the students will be able to vote for candidates in their home riding -- they are not limited to their campus riding.

Beginning today through Thursday, Elections Canada will open offices at campuses and friendship centres across the country. The aim of the pilot project is to make voting more accessible for a segment of the population that often doesn't vote.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 5/10/2015 (834 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

ELECTIONS Canada has a new carrot to entice students to vote this year.

The more than 28,000 students at the University of Manitoba will only have to take a small detour this week to Pembina Hall Student Lounge to cast their ballot for the Oct. 19 election.

And here's the kicker: the students will be able to vote for candidates in their home riding — they are not limited to their campus riding.

Beginning today through Thursday, Elections Canada will open offices at campuses and friendship centres across the country. The aim of the pilot project is to make voting more accessible for a segment of the population that often doesn't vote.

Fewer than 32 per cent of Manitobans between the ages of 18 to 24 voted in the 2011 election, Elections Canada reports. Nationwide, the average was about 39 per cent.

For this election, the University of Manitoba Students' Union has partnered with Be the Vote, a non-profit organization aimed at getting the 7.9 million Canadians in the age bracket voting.

Jeremiah Kopp, president of the University of Manitoba Student Union (UMSU) with UMSU Vice President Student Services Jessica Morrison,

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Jeremiah Kopp, president of the University of Manitoba Student Union (UMSU) with UMSU Vice President Student Services Jessica Morrison,

UMSU is one of nine organizations in Canada to sign on the Pledge Plus 1 program, a pledge that encourages voters to bring one new voter or someone who didn't vote in the last election to the polls with them Oct. 19.

Meanwhile, tonight at the University of Winnipeg, the University of Winnipeg Students' Association will host a student-centred debate with candidates from Winnipeg Centre — excluding Conservative candidate Allie Szarkiewicz, who has declined to attend.

Additionally, Jeremiah Kopp, the president of UMSU, said they sent emails to every member of the student body and used social media to attempt to get students to the polls.

"We can drive positive change in our community. Universities are a natural choice, so giving students the opportunity to vote, anything we can do to increase that recognition at a young age is key. So that is why it is really exciting to see a polling station here," Kopp said. "A lot of resident students are really excited about this (pilot project) because it means they can vote for their local candidate without making the trek back home and the convenience."

The office at the U of M will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

During that period, anyone can go to the office to register, vote or get information. The office is open to anyone, not just students.

Elections Canada will open offices at friendship centres in Portage la Prairie, Dauphin and Brandon during the same period.

kristin.annable@freepress.mb.ca

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History

Updated on Monday, October 5, 2015 at 11:48 AM CDT: Adds photo, adds videos

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