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Halifax students eager to have voices heard on last day of on-campus voting

Those born between 1980 and 2000 now represent up to 37 per cent of eligible voters
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This federal election will be the first one in which people born after the turn of the century will be able to mark a ballot.

Millennials make up the largest voting bloc, with those born between 1980 and 2000 now representing up to 37 per cent of eligible voters.

That's evident at universities in Halifax, where Wednesday is the last day students can vote on-campus and many seemed eager to go to the polls.

Dalhousie University marine biology student Alex Rayworth is encouraging her classmates to do their homework first.

"Do your research, don't just vote for who your friends are voting for or who your parents are voting for," she said. "Actually look into it for yourself and see what you think is best."

English student Jack Ramsay doesn't buy into the idea that young people are apathetic.

"I think we care more than the older generation," he said. "It's our world we're voting for, they had their time."

Meanwhile Dal student Alex Levy understands why some his age are discouraged.

"There's been quite a few times I thought there's really just no point in voting because nothing's going to really change anyway," he said. "But I figure at least I can complain about it if I vote."

And international development student, Emma LeBlanc thinks Gen Xers and Boomers can be just as indifferent as younger voters.

"Last election I had to convince my mom to vote ... a lot of people are apathetic of all ages."

In the 2015 election, 57 per cent of the youth vote turned up to cast ballots, up 20 per cent from 2011. 

This is the second election in a row Elections Canada has set up polling stations on university campuses. The 2015 pilot project saw 70,000 students voting on campus.

"It's so exciting to see students show up in droves to vote" said Lianne Xiao Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students - Nova Scotia in a news release. "Most students I talked to this week were planning on voting on campus, students are voting for their home ridings everywhere from Sydney NS to Victoria BC as well as here in Halifax."

On campus polling stations in the New Academic Building at the University of King's College, the Student Union Building at Dalhousie University and the Patrick Power Library at Saint Mary's University close at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Advance polls will be open throughout the Thanksgiving long weekend. More information on how to vote can be found here.

With files from Meghan Groff


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