UPDATE: Promoting Youth Vote Act media event postponed
Monday’s media event scheduled for March 18 at 1:30 p.m. outside Nelson City Hall has been postponed said NDP spokesperson Curtis Bendig, Constituency Assistant to Michelle Mungall, MLA Nelson-Creston.
The media event was to announce Promoting Youth Vote Act that will give young people the opportunity to pre-register to vote after they turn 16 years of age.
New Democrat advanced education critic wants younger voters to have a say
No one could ever blame Nelson/Creston MLA Michelle Mungall from not being a fighter.
Despite facing an election less than two months away and not getting a chance to make any changes to the rules before said, “Provincial Election”, Mungall is rallying the charge of a bill to reduce the age at which voters may register.
Mungall plans to release information about the proposed bill during a media session Monday in front of Nelson City Hall at 1:30 p.m.
“The Promoting Youth Vote Act will give young people the opportunity to pre-register to vote after they turn 16,” said New Democrat leader Adrian Dix.
“It acts on the advice of Keith Archer, the Chief Electoral Officer of British Columbia: in 2011, he recommended lowering the age of voter registration as a means to increase voter turnout.”
The NDP said the act would allow the non-partisan Elections B.C., in cooperation with schools and other public institutions, to promote pre-registration among British Columbians who are 16 and 17.
Age of voting would remain at 18 years-old.
Taavi Wickman-Ratthe, a student at Nelson’s L. V. Rogers high school is pleased with the bill.
“This plan shows a positive step toward engaging young people so that when they are of the age to vote, they will be more informed and prepared about enacting their right,” said Wickman-Ratthe.
As few as one in five voters between the ages of 18 and 25 are registered to vote, making them the demographic that is least likely to cast their ballot on election day.
“We have to end the vicious circle in which young people don’t vote because they don’t see their issues reflected in the debate, which in turn makes our politics even less likely to take young people’s concerns seriously,” said New Democrat advanced education critic Mungall.
“The latest Liberal budget is a case in point. It cuts the budget for advanced education and skills training and offers no help to young people who are struggling to afford the training they need to succeed in a twenty-first century economy.”