Neon colours sparked interest in a small group of volunteers on the morning of Oct. 5, as the UW Vote Mob, sponsored by Feds and the Graduate Student Association (GSA), filmed a campaign video to encourage student voting. Passing out over 400 flyers, the group, outfitted to represent non-partisan colours, chose an ‘80s dress theme as they discussed with students a new voting opportunity piloted by Elections Canada.</p>
Alex Lavasidis, the GSA’s campaign co-ordinator, thinks this event was important for students looking ahead.
“If young people don’t vote, then their perspective won’t be represented,” Lavasidis said.
The campaign stems from a countrywide decline in electoral voting amongst youth.
The UW Vote Mob explained that they chose an ‘80s dress theme to represent the growing age gap between voters.
Lavasidis believes that much of the youth population who don’t vote are just uninformed.
“There is a common misconception that young people vote more left which is untrue,” Lavasidis said. “They actually mimic the general population.”
In conjuncture with the pilot program, Vote Savvy, a youth-targeted voting initiative, is using viral media as a tactic to reach out to youth voters. The University of Guelph released a viral video earlier this week that received over 20,000 views within 36 hours of release. Feds and GSA, in partnership with Vote Savvy, released a similar video Oct. 6.
However, the campaign co-ordinator was less than satisfied with the turnout.
“Not enough people came out,” said Lavasidis. Less than 10 people showed up to shoot the video when an expected 40-plus were anticipated.
Students who wish to view the video can do so on YouTube or Facebook. However, Lavasidis explained that Facebook-sharing is the primary method of distribution as it automatically starts playing on their feed.
Students who wish to vote can view the campaigns on the various parties’ websites.
“[Students] should choose three issues and focus on those three issues when reviewing campaigns,” said Lavasidis.“This is one of the more important elections in our generation.”
Students can vote Oct. 5-8 in MC 2036 or the Laurel Room in South Campus Hall.