Aboriginal Elders and Youth Program Survey - 40th General Election
- All Canadian provinces were represented in this study. However, there were no respondents from the Yukon and the Western Arctic.
- Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec and Newfoundland saw an increase in the percentage of respondents from their respective province, while British Columbia experienced a statistical decrease in the percentage of respondents in comparison to the 39th General Election held in 2006.
- Eight out of ten respondents are status Indian compared to 91% in 2006.
- More than half of the respondents are young people (53%) and the balance of them are elders (47%).
- Half of those who answered the survey and participated in the AEYP program (51%) were recruited by the Community Relations Officer. One-quarter of them (26%) were recruited by the Returning Officer and 11% by Band Leaders / Councils.
- Overall, 85% of those surveyed were first time participants in the AEYP program. Those who had previously been part of the AEYP program participated in the 2006 election.
- On average, those who assisted electors helped 15 people. In comparison to the 39th General Election, a stronger percentage of respondents did not assist any electors (20% in 2008 vs. 11% in 2006).
- Generally speaking, six out of ten respondents participated in a training session. This ratio is higher in provinces that had a greater percentage of first-timers. The feedback provided by respondents leads us to believe that training sessions were good, interesting, informative and helpful. However, it was inadequate and overwhelming for nearly one in five respondents.
- One-quarter of those surveyed had to vouch for an elector who did not have proper identification.
- Participants were asked to undertake several tasks. For the most part there was a decrease in the frequency at which they had to provide liaison between the polling officials and voters, answer questions about how the process works, assist with reading ballots and interpreting or translating.
- A strong majority of respondents (94%) thought the program was helpful in creating a welcoming environment for Aboriginal electors.
- When asked if the program was helpful in assisting Aboriginal electors to understand the voting process, 89% said yes. Those who did not think that the program was helpful in that regard mentioned that most electors were already knowledgeable of the voting process.
- There are three main improvements cited by respondents: A) having more and better training and information sessions, B) Getting young people and elders to work together and C) Advertise more and disseminate more voter information.