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Youth vote fuels Calgary's jump in voter turnout

Many are crediting the youth vote for the dramatic increase in voter turnout during this week’s municipal election.

Many are crediting the youth vote for the dramatic increase in voter turnout during this week’s municipal election.

Hardave Birk said he noticed students were hyper-engaged for this election.

Birk, vice-president external for the University of Calgary’s students’ union, said there were a number of factors that contributed to student engagement.

“We really tried to get the information out there as much as possible,” he said. Birk also said many students realized the election issues such as transportation, parking and housing affect them as well.

“I think students really do care, and they’re starting to understand those issues are all municipal issues,” said Birk.

Ros Doi of Youth Central said even those below the eligible voting age were engaged. As part of their Youth Can Vote campaign, Youth Central polled more than 6,000 students for a mock election day.

“They were standing in line talking about the airport tunnel, and these kids are 11,” she said.

“I really hope that that sort of responsibility and that understanding of what’s happening in the community carries on.”

 
 
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