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  • Writer's pictureCity of Edmonton Youth Council

How youth can be involved in municipal elections

Written by: Julianna Galiano and Tiffany Phan

Edited by: Sithara Naidoo

Instagram Account: @whenweallvote

Voting: How does it work?

Voting allows us to make our voices heard on different issues that are important to us. If you don’t exercise your right to vote, someone else’s vote will decide for you. Voting in municipal elections gives us a chance to be represented in decision-making and allows us to make a difference in our community and city!

In Edmonton’s upcoming municipal elections, there are many positions that you may vote for. Firstly, you vote for a mayoral position. You also vote for a councillor to represent your ward, which is one of 12 wards. Lastly, you may vote for an Edmonton Public and Catholic School Trustee from one of their multiple wards. It is important to note that the city’s wards have recently changed, there are new names and boundaries that you can learn here. Find your ward’s new name here!

Informing yourself and researching candidates allows you to make an educated vote before casting your ballot. Informing yourself when it comes to candidates’ platforms is especially important as it can help you form your opinion on political and social issues and judge whether or not a candidate’s platform aligns with your values and beliefs.

To do this, you can take a look at a candidate’s political speeches, public statements, and political career. However, ensure that you are receiving your information from trustworthy and reliable sources. Great sources to access are candidates’ websites and online platforms; they have lots of information on their platform of what they are striving to accomplish, their mission, and values. You can easily find the candidates, their information, and which ward they represent on the City of Edmonton’s website. Local news networks, such as CBC, Global News, and CTV often have reliable information regarding the election and the candidates.

Too young to vote? : How Youth Can Get Involved

As youth, we are the most well-connected, socially educated, opinionated, and overall influential generation the world has ever seen.

Youths’ opinions, values, and stances on social and political issues have a strong influence on a candidate’s campaign. With this in mind, candidates have given youth numerous opportunities to get involved in the municipal elections. Even if you are too young to vote, you still have the power to make your voice heard and make a positive change in your community, especially in regards to issues such as homelessness, minimum wage, healthcare, education, climate change and so much more!

First of all, be informed! As you read up on political and social issues pertaining to the local level, you can form your opinion and see how it aligns with your values and beliefs. Educating yourself is essential and allows you to voice your opinions to other people, on social media and many other places.

For many candidates- if not all-volunteering is open for youth! You can get involved directly with a mission that you stand for, by either social media outreach, flyer pass out, organizing events for promotion, working at campaign headquarters, calling voters, writing notes, and many other campaign related work! Involving yourself in a campaign can help candidates get elected even if you’re not able to vote. There are many volunteer opportunities available to youth.

In short, research the candidates and their opportunities for youth, then sign up and get involved!

Ways You Can Show Support Without Physically Volunteering

Sometimes volunteering for a candidate is inaccessible to youth for various reasons, and that is okay! However, that shouldn’t stop you from showing your support for a message or mission that you stand for.

An easy way that anyone can share their support is through social media. By reposting, commenting, and learning about candidates and their platforms, you can create awareness for a candidate and their campaign. Remember to make sure your sources are trustworthy, as the internet is an easy place to get and share falsified information.

18+ : Voting details for eligible voters

So, who can vote in the upcoming municipal election?

If you are at least 18 years of age, a Canadian citizen, and a resident of Edmonton on Election Day, you are eligible to vote! This year, Election Day is on October 18 and voting stations are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Advanced voting occurs from October 4-13 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m and mail-in voting begins in August. On Election Day, you must bring one (1) piece of up-to-date government authorized identification. Some examples of this are your Alberta Driver’s Licence or Alberta Identification Card. A full list of accepted IDs is on this website.

You can find more voting information here.

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