Editorial: You have a responsibility to vote in the BC election

Voting in this year’s election isn’t just a right, it’s your duty.

Every student vote adds one more to the precious “youth vote” statistic, which determines how valuable it is for politicians to court young people, which determines the kinds of policies they’ll put in their platforms to attract us.

More youth votes are directly correlated to a better representation of youth issues in government, so if you’re not doing it for your own sake, do it for the sake of literally everyone else.

The youth vote is already on the rise. Turnout in the 2013 BC provincial election for 18 to 24-year-olds was just 47.9 per cent. Compare that to the 2015 federal election, when youth turnout was 57.1 per cent, as opposed to 38.8 per cent in 2011 — an increase that many theorize carried the federal Liberals to victory.

The polls in this election are extremely close. Of course, that varies riding-by-riding, but don’t fool yourself into thinking your vote doesn't count. Strange things can happen in provincial politics.

We get it — politics is exhausting, and if you don’t keep up with it, understanding it can seem insurmountable. But before you throw your hands up in resignation, take 10 minutes to do some research.

Do CBC’s Vote Compass. Read the parties’ platforms (Liberal, NDP, Green). Read a profile of your riding. Read debate coverage, fact-checking, or listen to the leaders’ debate. There’s no excuse for being uninformed.

Already this year, 230,000 people voted early on April 29 and 30 — a huge increase over 2013 numbers. Let’s keep it going.

Make sure you’re registered, then vote at your nearest voting place on May 9 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or today or tomorrow before 4 p.m. at a district electoral office.