This policy would seek to allow youth to pre-register to vote upon the age of 15, and making the voter registration a part of the Ontario grade 10 civics course, to increase the level of engagement and attachment youth would have in the democratic process before they vote upon turning 18.
Australia and several American states allow for voter registration below the age of 18, and there there is a positive correlation between voting and being registered as a voter before Election Day, particularly for first time youth voters.
Furthermore, the Chief Electoral Officer of British Columbia recommended in 2011 in his Report to the Legislative Assembly to amend the BC Elections Act to allow the provisional registration of individuals when they are 16 years of age, based on his examination of similar practices and legislation existing in other jurisdiction.
This policy was prioritized by the Ontario Young Liberals at the Summer Fling policy conference in August, and would build on the spirit of youth engagement the OYL is known for.
This policy calls on the Ontario government to amend the Ontario Elections Act to permit the registration of individuals onto the voter list when they are 15 years of age, also amending the Ontario High School curriculum to include the voter registration process, as the majority of students in grade 10 would be 15.
Broadly, it also calls on the Ontario government to work with post-secondary educational institutions to help students living away from home vote.
For more information about this policy and to see some of the reports and studies I used to develop this policy, I encourage you to check out my blog: http://theliberalscarf.blogspot.ca/2013/08/final-version-of-my-policy-to-be.html
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