Alberta's election law updated to make it easier for students to vote

Edmonton, Alberta - Alberta’s Legislature will finish its scheduled business with the third and
final reading of the Election Accountability Amendment Act, or Bill 7, this week. The bill makes
several changes to how Alberta's elections are run and includes a change to allow postsecondary
students to cast their ballot either in the community where they study or where they
lived prior to going to school.

“This is going to make voting much easier for students in the next election,” said Raphael Jacob,
VP External at the University of Calgary Students’ Union and chair of the Council of Alberta
University Students (CAUS). “Past elections saw too many students turned away from the polls
when they turned up to vote where they lived while going to school. This is going to fix that, and
I hope we see even more students turn out to vote in the next election as a result.”

“We were pleased that Minister Jonathan Denis addressed our concerns and took our
recommendation in this legislation,” added Duncan Wojtaszek, CAUS Executive Director. “We
have been working towards this change since the 2008 election and it is great to see our
recommendation be put into law.”

The Election Accountability Amendment Act is a large bill addressing several aspects of
elections beyond student voting and has not been without controversy. The bill has made
headlines across Alberta as MLA’s deal with the various provisions on campaign finance and
new changes to municipal elections. The bill was based on the recommendations from the
Chief Electoral Officer however his recommendation around student voting was rejected in
favour of the proposal from CAUS. That recommendation has met with universal agreement
from all parties in the legislature, even as other aspects of the bill have met opposition.

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The Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) represents the interests of students at the
University of Alberta, the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge.

 

For more information contact:
Duncan Wojtaszek, Executive Director
cell: 780-297-4531
e-mail: duncan@caus.net

Raphael Jacob, Chair
cell: 403-809-7751
e-mail: suvpext@ucalgary.ca

Both Duncan and Raphael will be available via cell prior to and following the final reading
of the bill and the end of the fall session of the Alberta Legislature.