February 1, 2016 12:53 pm

Dropping Nova Scotia’s voting age? Change proposed by Liberal advocates

A young person holds up a sign reading "I voted" in this file photo.

File/Global News

Encouraging youth to get out and vote is something Canada has been trying to do for years, but one group in Nova Scotia is hoping they can change the rules to get people as young as 16 out casting ballots in provincial elections.

Evan Price is president of the Truro Liberal Association, a group lobbying to drop the voting age in Nova Scotia from 18 to 16 years old.

“This is a conversation that’s revisited now and again and I think it’s time we take another look at it,” Price said.

READ MORE: Candidates forum organized by high schooler engages students in political process

Price noted that other provinces in Atlantic Canada, including Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island, have floated the idea of lowering the age to engage youth in an increasingly ageing population.

WATCH: Evan Price talks to Global News about why Nova Scotia’s voting age should be lowered to 16

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“It fits because there’s a timely discussion nationally about how electoral reform may come to pass,” Price said.

“With that we thought ‘Well let’s look at reforms in our own region and possibly how we could involve more people in the [voting] process.”

Ages were set at 21 for voters in most countries after WWII, and then put down to 18 in the 1970s and 1990s. In more recent years, several countries, like Scotland, Argentina and Brazil, have lowered their ages to 16.

Reduce voting age nation-wide?

NDP MP Don Davies introduced Bill-C213 in Parliament on Jan. 28, which would see the voting age dropped to 16 across the country, for federal and provincial elections.

“Studies show that individuals who begin voting early in our democratic process are more likely to continue for the rest of their lives,” Davies said in a release.

Bill C-213 is a private member’s bill that likely won’t be passed as law any time soon.

The recommendation to lower Nova Scotia’s voting age will be up for debate at the next Liberal Annual General Meeting in the spring.

For more information on the proposal, visit www.facebook.com/TBHMSLiberals.

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