Decreasing the Voting age to 16

Resolution Category Provincial Scope 5
Subject Governance
Year 2015
Status Defeated
Sponsor - Mover Lethbridge, City of
Active Clauses

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Alberta Urban Municipality Association request that the Government of Alberta amend the Local Authorities Election Act to expand the local election franchise to 16 years of age.

Whereas Clauses

WHEREAS Sec 47(1)(a) of the Local Authorities Election Act defines an eligible voter as a person who "is at least 18 years old,";

WHEREAS voter turnout in Alberta municipal elections is in a general decline;

WHEREAS academic research indicates that one of the sources of a decline in voter turnout stems from a decline in the participation rate of younger voters (18-24 year olds);

WHEREAS the Alberta high school social studies curriculum teaches citizenship and our democratic institutions;

WHEREAS 16 and 17 year olds access many municipal services and infrastructure through their work, volunteerism, community involvement, and independent recreational pursuits;

WHEREAS socializing youth into the electoral process early can build the "habit" of participating in future elections thereby improving democratic participation and citizenship;

WHEREAS Sec 47(1)(a) of the Local Authorities Election Act defines an eligible voter as a person who "is at least 18 years old,";

WHEREAS voter turnout in Alberta municipal elections is in a general decline;

WHEREAS academic research indicates that one of the sources of a decline in voter turnout stems from a decline in the participation rate of younger voters (18-24 year olds);

WHEREAS the Alberta high school social studies curriculum teaches citizenship and our democratic institutions;

WHEREAS 16 and 17 year olds access many municipal services and infrastructure through their work, volunteerism, community involvement, and independent recreational pursuits; and

WHEREAS socializing youth into the electoral process early can build the "habit" of participating in future elections thereby improving democratic participation and citizenship.