With roughly 3.6 million Canadians hitting the advance polls over the weekend, this year’s federal election is looking to be a big one. What if you need that extra little push to get you out to the polls? That’s where Voting Buddies comes in.
Voting Buddies is a grassroots, non-partisan initiative aimed at giving Canadians a way to hold themselves and their friends accountable to vote.
“It’s about empowering groups of people, starting with us, our families, and our friends, and going out from there,” Erin Gray, one of the organizers behind Voting Buddies, told Vancity Buzz.
The way the campaign works is this: grab a friend, family member, or loved one, head to the polling station and take a picture using #votingbuddies after voting. Post it to social media, tag three of your friends, and contribute to the wave of voter motivation.
“[Social science] really talks about how the main barrier for people to vote is motivational, and not always logistical,” says Gray.
“Sort of like you have a gym buddy, somebody that makes sure you do the thing you intend to do, you know is good, and follow through when other things get in the way,” says Gray. “Whether it’s family commitments, or work, or kids – they’re there to help you.”
Gray says the other motivation for the campaign is to show people that others in their social networks are voting at a time when the common misconception is that young people don’t vote.
Gray and the rest of the Voting Buddies team are compiling photos online, with hundreds of submissions already. With voting day less than a week away, Gray says whatever can be done to help get people out to the polls should be done.
“We’re trying to say that actually lots of young people do [vote], people you know do, and so you should feel empowered to also do so,” she says.
— Erin Gray (@_ErinRGray) October 10, 2015
— Voting Buddies (@votingbuddies) October 11, 2015
— Alex D Kennedy (@SourcesCited) October 2, 2015