Voting at Select Campuses, Friendship Centres and Community Centres, 42nd General Election
5. Performance Indicators
Elections Canada's main performance indicator for the pilot project was voter turnout at the temporary offices.
Elections Canada had set the benchmark at 25 percent turnout among the targeted populations. This benchmark was established based on youth voter turnout from the previous general election, and on the turnout from similar on-campus voting initiatives held during elections in Nova Scotia, Quebec, and New Brunswick in previous years:
Nova Scotia, 2013
For the 2013 provincial general election, Elections Nova Scotia opened additional polling stations at hospitals, shelters, prisons, nursing homes and campuses. At the 13 campus stations, students, faculty and staff who met the six-month residency requirement were able to vote in advance of regular polling day, choosing either the electoral district of their current residences or where they lived off-campus.
For the 2014 provincial general election, the Directeur général des élections du Québec opened additional polling stations, referred to as bureaux de vote en établissement d'enseignement, at campuses on March 28 and April 1, 2 and 3. Electors who met the six-month residency requirement to vote were able to cast ballots at these stations for the electoral districts where they reside.
New Brunswick, 2014
After a successful pilot project aimed at increasing student voting in 2010, Elections New Brunswick expanded its campus outreach to include voting stations at 13 post-secondary institutions during the September 22, 2014, provincial general election.
Overall, participation at satellite offices during the 42nd general election was 9 percent of the eligible population.
It should be noted that, although returning officers highlighted areas that needed further attention, they related to the inner workings of the project. Their opinions of the overall project characterized it as very worthwhile.
Most of the qualitative feedback was compiled from the exit surveys distributed to electors who used the service and expressed the electors' appreciation for the opportunity to vote at these convenient locations, as well as a hope to see the service return in future elections. However, negative feedback reflecting such concerns as the need to use less paper and reduce wait times was also expressed.