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How could young voters affect this election?
“Elections P.E.I. is always searching for and encouraging new ways to engage young voters and those who will be future voters,” says its CEO Tim Garrity in support of the Kids Zone initiative for Monday, July 15, during which children of District 9 voters in Charlottetown will be able to cast ballots for their favourite summertime activity. Paul Alan, manager of elections operations with P.E.I., says the upcoming election is “just a continuation of the provincial general election of April 23 ...You vote where you are living the day the writ is dropped ... anywhere you were living on June 17, that’s where you are supposed to be voting.” Except that if you happened to move out of District 9 between March 26 (when the writ was dropped) and June 17 you lose your right to vote this time. Elections P.E.I. knows who voted in the April 23 election, so no doubledipping is allowed, and this makes sense. But to disqualify those who have not yet had a chance to vote flies in the face of the spirit of citizens’ rights. Section 45.3b of the Elections Act states that “the list of electors, prepared after the writ, shall be used at the postponed election as the list of electors, or if revised, as the official list of electors.” Based on that clause, anyone living in District 9 as of March 26 should be able to vote in this “deferred election.” Instead, some citizens are left without the constitutional guarantee of the democratic right to vote. Rules are rules, it seems, even if those rules go against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I guess that means some children will not be encouraged to enter the Kids Zone, either.