Kathleen Ganley Supports Lowering Voting Age To 16, Would Study Implentation

"We need to get young people involved in our elections — they are our future"

One of the most incredible parts of this Alberta NDP Leadership campaign has been the opportunity to engage with young people.

With the voting age set at 14, it has been amazing to see youth get heavily involved in campaigns or take an active role in town hall events, rallies, and policy development as many get ready to cast a ballot for the first time. In fact, Team Ganley’s most dedicated phone caller is just 15 years old and our campaign would not be the same without his dedication and enthusiasm.

During my discussions with young New Democrats, and in discussions with other members of Team Ganley, I have heard widespread support for lowering the voting age in the general provincial election to 16.

I support this measure and commit to further studying the feasibility of implementing it.

This commitment would be in lockstep with a resolution that was overwhelmingly passed at our 2022 Alberta NDP Convention.

There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that lowering the voting age will help us get youth involved in the democratic process and keep them involved as they become adults, turning them into lifelong voters.

Elections Canada reported in the 2015 National Youth Survey that young people who voted were much more likely to say that they learned about government in high school and participated in a mock election.

Several other countries have already lowered their voting age to 16.

We need to get young people involved in our elections — they are our future. I hope you will join me in supporting a move to lower the provincial voting age.