Vote on Campus – CEO Appearance: Supplementary Estimates (B) 2019-20
Subject: Vote on Campus
During the 43rd general election, the agency opened 119 external service point offices at 98 post-secondary institutions in 86 electoral districts.
The initiative was very well received and allowed more than 110,000 electors, mostly students, to vote on their campus.
Given that most electors who used this option voted during the last two days, Elections Canada will revisit the length of time this service is offered.
After a successful pilot at dozens of post-secondary campuses, Friendship Centres and YMCAs during the 42nd general election, Elections Canada made Vote on Campus a national program in the 43rd general election, this time focusing exclusively on post-secondary campuses. This involved 119 external service point offices at 98 institutions in 86 electoral districts (in 2015, offices were opened in 39 post-secondary campuses across the country).
Institutions were chosen based on the following selection criteria:
Post-secondary institutions selected for the 42nd GE pilot project.
Post-secondary institutions with more than 4,000 students who are eligible to vote.
Institutions recognized for serving Indigenous students.
Institutions recognized as a community hub and that can help maintain a balance between provincial and territorial distribution.
The agency expanded the program to five days, October 5 to 9, 2019, compared to four days in the previous election.
While any elector could vote by special ballot at these offices, most were students. More than three quarters of electors who voted at external service point offices were from outside their home electoral district.
The turnout increased every day that Vote on Campus was available, peaking at around 48,000 on October 9. In all, more than 110,000 electors voted at these locations, compared with about 70,000 in 2015.
As in 2015, the initiative relied on strong engagement efforts with post-secondary institution administrations (including through readiness activities conducted by returning officers) and also with national student associations.
The initiative was well received and enjoyed positive social media coverage.