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Survey of Electors Following the 41st General Election

Appendix 3: Seniors

This section provides additional observations regarding electors aged 65 and over.

Health/Illness/Injury Main Reason for Seniors Not Voting

Electors aged 65 and older were more likely than the general population to report having voted (93% vs. 84%). Respondents who were 65 or over and who said that they did not vote (n=32), offered a variety of reasons for not having done so, the most frequently cited of which was health/illness/injury (n=10) followed by travel (n=6). A few mentioned reasons relating to negative perceptions of voting and politics (n=2), apathy (n=2) and cynicism (n=2). Other reasons included transportation issues (n=3), issues related to political parties (n=2), problems relating to accessibility (n=1), registration problems (n=1), work/school schedule (n=1), family obligations (n=1) and lack of information (n=1).

Assistance Getting to Polls Top Suggestion to Encourage Older People to Vote

Eligible electors that are 65 years of age or older were asked what should be done, if anything, to help older people to vote in federal elections. The top suggestion, with over a quarter (27%) offering it, is to provide more assistance getting to the polls. This is the only suggestion offered with much frequency. Other suggestions, put forth by 5% or less each, include having polls in retirement residences or hospitals (5%), better government policies for seniors (4%), more available information on candidates (2%), more assistance at the polls (2%), and online voting (2%).

The 'other' category contains suggestions offered by less than 2%, such as encouraging older electors to vote, holding meetings with older electors, education, having elections less often, and distributing flyers in the mail.

Nearly half (48%) of eligible electors aged 65 years or over offered no suggestion to help older people vote in federal elections, with roughly a quarter (23%) saying nothing should be done and a quarter (25%) either saying they don't know or not responding.

Suggestions to Encourage Older People to Vote graph
Text description of "Suggestions to Encourage Older People to Vote" graph