Students attending Red Deer College were waiting over an hour to vote at the busy advance polling station at the school Thursday.
About 75 people were lined up to vote at The Forum at 1 p.m.
Chaise Combs, president of the Students’ Association of Red Deer College, said he hoped students would show up and was pleased with the turnout.
“I think it means students are tired of being ignored and would like to have their voices heard on the provincial level,” Combs said.
“According to Statistics Canada, youth were by far the least likely to vote in the 2011 federal election. This is something we’re trying to change at the students’ association.”
This year is the first time voters can cast a ballot for a candidate running in their home riding at any advance polling station in the province.
“Honestly, I think it should be a national holiday to vote. It should be as easy as possible. But this is definitely a step in the right direction,” Combs said.
On Wednesday, 50,000 people across the province voted outside their riding, up from 33,000 on Tuesday.
“I’m excited that advance polling is open to anyone, anywhere, because this is my first time voting. I haven’t been able to before because I wasn’t at home,” said third-year nursing student Natasha Tromsness, of Banff.
“It’s great. I could come between classes,” Tromsness said.
Chris Dick, of Edson, was also in line to vote.
“I live three hours from here and I have school Monday to Friday, so I have no chance to vote in my own riding. It’s pretty important,” said Dick, a first-year heavy duty mechanic student.
The polling station at the college was set up near The Forum on Thursday only, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
He said the new rules make it convenient to vote, but it would have be easier if there were more than two ballot stations at the college.
“It seems they underestimated how good the college would be when the majority of students aren’t from around here.”