Nova Scotians are again going to the polls at a problematic time for some students to vote, the executive director of the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations said Wednesday.
Mark Coffin pointed out the last two elections were held when most students were out of school – June 13, 2006 and Aug. 5, 2003. This year's election will be held June 9, again when most students are done with school.
“It’s a disturbing trend that we’ve picked up on that our governments continue to call elections when students are just on their way out of the province,” Coffin said.
He identified two problems created by late spring/summertime provincial elections.
“About 30 per cent of the students in Nova Scotia are from out of province, so a lot of them have gone home for the summer,” Coffin said. “But the decisions that are made in choosing their government will affect students pursuing post-secondary education here. And then there are other students in Nova Scotia from Nova Scotia going to post-secondary institutions here and many of those students go out of province to work.”
The absentee ballots provided to out of province Nova Scotians are not as convenient, Coffin said, which may discourage voters. He suggested one possible solution - earlier legislative sessions.
“This year we were the last province to pass the budget, so maybe getting everything moving earlier in the year so if there is a confidence motion that’s going to fail, it happens when all the students are in the province,” he said.