Elections Alberta to collect information on future voters over age 16
EDMONTON Elections Alberta will collect voting information on residents 16 and 17 years old for the first time this fall while registration ramps up ahead of the next provincial election.
The move will simplify the process to register voters when they turn 18, said spokesman Drew Westwater on Thursday.
“Our biggest demographic that does not currently vote is the 18to 24-year-old age group, so we’re trying to get them early,” he said. “Historically it’s shown that if somebody does vote when they’re 18 ... they tend to be lifelong voters.
“It’s about getting them out that first time.”
Residents 18 and older, who are Canadian citizens, will make up the elector list for the 2019 election.
Eligible voters have two weeks to register with Elections Alberta before door-to-door visits start on Sept. 8. More than 7,000 staff will conduct the visits until Sept. 30.
“This is a registration process where we can confirm the information we already have in our database,” Westwater said, adding this will mark the agency’s first enumeration since 2012.
Registering requires giving Elections Alberta a date of birth, gender and an address.
The move to include those 16 and 17 years old in the process complements a school program dubbed Building Future Voters, rolled out in Grades 6, 9 and 12, Westwater said. The program encourages civic engagement and explains the importance of municipal, provincial and federal elections.
“So that when they turn 18, they’re more aware of the issues, parties and choices they have,” he said.
After the election is called, information about how to vote will be mailed out to those on the list.
Voters can register online with an Alberta driver’s licence or government identification card. Alternatively, voters can contact the toll free call centre at 1-877-422-8683 (VOTE) and no identification is required.
If somebody does vote when they’re 18 ... they tend to be lifelong voters. It’s about getting them out that first time.