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TRU research project probes youth vote

July 7, 2016 2:37 P.M.

How to better engage the elusive youth vote is behind research by a TRU research project this summer.

With a grant from Elections B.C., three undergraduate political science students will be fielding opinions at Saturday’s Kamloops Farmers Market as a first step in the research.

They’ll be asking participants if they voted in the most recent federal, provincial, and/or municipal elections, and if not, why not, and what might motivate them. The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete.

“This is a question that everyone is looking to answer,” said Prof. Terry Kading, who’s supervising the research with philosophy Prof. Jeff McLaughlin. 

“The youth vote extends to 30, so these are people who are buying homes and having families, and they’re still uninterested. With the survey, we hope to discover why that is,” said Brayden Wilson, a fourth-year Bachelor of Arts student, and the project’s student leader.

Only about 30 percent in the under-30 age group vote, a phenomenon widely observed but not well understood.

“We expect the survey to provide us with a much more nuanced answer to the question of why people don’t vote, other than that they just don’t care,” said McLaughlin. “We’re trying to find a new way to come at the question.”

Anyone interested can take the survey here.

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