B.C.-wide campaign aims to get young people to the polls

Students across B.C. have launched a province-wide campaign to encourage young British Columbians to vote in this fall’s provincial election.

Run by a coalition of student groups representing more than 375,000 post-secondary students, “Take It Over” aims to not only mobilize students and young people to vote in this provincial election, but also encourages them to take over the narrative of this election and ensure their voices are heard.

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“Young people have always been politically engaged, and they will be channeling that engagement into votes in this election,” said Tanysha Klassen, Chairperson, BC Federation of Students. “We saw young people take over the streets with the climate strike and with protests against police-brutality, and we will see them take over this election by getting to the polls safely with the same enthusiasm.”

Young adults in B.C. have been disproportionately affected by the COVID–19 pandemic, as they predominantly work in sectors such as hospitality and tourism which have been all but shuttered this summer. With party platforms focusing on economic recovery, young people should not be left out of the equation.

The Take it Over campaign is calling for a leader’s debate focusing on young people, and expressly allowing for young people and students to put forward questions about issues that matter to them, like affordable housing, jobs, affordable education, anti-racism initiatives, and the environment. Further, the campaign encourages people to pledge that they will be voting, and provides an opportunity for them to email candidates in their ridings about the election.

In the 2017 BC election voter turnout amongst 18 to 24 year olds increased by more than eight per cent surpassing the number of voters aged 25 to 44. These numbers don’t show any sign of stopping. With young people around the globe advocating for climate action, racial justice, affordable housing, and accessible education, it is abundantly clear that young people are passionate about their community and their world, and this passion will translate to votes.

More information about the Take It Over campaign, including an online tool to vote and contact local candidates can be found at: www.TakeItOver.ca.

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