Young voters need an innovative push to polling stations

You have to wonder how young voters made their ballot decisions on Oct. 25.

Did they choose based on who called their house? Or whose nice sign stood on their lawn? Maybe it was who knocked on their door?

Or did they actually interact with these people and read their platforms?

Candidates need to use interesting, non-traditional ways to advertise to resonate better with today’s youth. Here’s a thought: politicians could try getting their point across by showing up at a local Tim Hortons and buying every eligible young voter’s coffee — they just need to remember to send out a Facebook invite first.

Ward 42 runner-up Neethan Shan’s election night headquarters was teeming with hopeful young volunteers cheering for a man who’s played a prominent role in their lives as a youth outreach worker. He stays current on Facebook and Twitter. He was the only candidate who came close to bringing incumbent Raymond Cho down.

There’s no doubting Cho can do the job. But why reward someone who sat back on election night, enjoying a spread of food, “knowing he would win?”

Shan lost. But he had more than 9,000 votes and 150 volunteers. At one voting station, people who had missed the 8 p.m. cutoff stood outside, still lined up, demanding their right to vote — for him. He built that support in 10 months.

Shan is the sort of candidate most deserving of the youth vote.

Maybe next time.