University gets own advance poll
Thompson Rivers University students will have a chance to vote on their own turf in advance of this year’s provincial election.
TRU student union external vice-president Dylan Robinson told KTW that Elections BC plans to hold an advance poll in the union’s lecture hall on May 9.
“We’re super excited about that,” said Robinson, who has lobbied for a polling place closer to campus.
On general voting day, May 14, the polling place closest to campus will be in Dufferin.
Robinson said the election comes at an awkward time for TRU students — classes have wrapped up and many students are moving out of their rental housing for the summer.
Having an opportunity to vote on campus can take some of the stress out of the process.
“I don’t drive, for instance, so I’m kind of limited by transit,” Robinson said.
“It’s hard enough coming to school every day, let alone taking time out of my work schedule to figure out how to access a polling station somewhere in Dufferin.”
While Elections BC data shows younger voters are less likely to cast a ballot — chief electoral officer Keith Archer estimates only 68 per cent of British Columbians in their early 20s are even registered to vote — Robinson thinks this election may have sparked more than the usual amount of interest on campus.
“People I’ve spoken to are engaged with this election,” he said.
“Maybe it’s just the political circumstances we find ourselves in, with the really bad economic conditions and the current government being in power for a fairly long time.
“I think people are looking for options out there and that’s definitely driving interest.”
To drum up more interest, TRU’s student union joined forces with Elections BC last week to register students to vote and runs its own Vote Education campaign.
Robinson said that campaign encourages students to vote for candidates with “progressive solutions” to rising tuition costs and other issues affecting post-secondary education.