Friday, 2 October 2015

Elections Canada - Coming to you

It's October - I'm not sure how September was able to fly by as quickly as it did, but well, it did. And, as I already stated, it's now October. And while that means that we have things like the falling of the leaves, the chilling of the air, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and yes, even pumpkin spice lattes (or really, pumpkin spice what ever you want) to look forward to, there is one really big responsibility that has seemed moths away for a while now, but is now really just a few weeks (or days) away... that's right, it's almost time to vote.

I could talk to you about why it's important to vote (not who to vote for, just why it's a responsibility that you should accept), but for now, am going to let you know about a pilot project that will (hopefully) make voting easier for you this year.

On October 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Elections Canada will opening two offices at the U of A - on in the Aurora Room (Lister Centre) and one in the lower level of SUB. Each office will be open from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm (which should make it easy to stop by between/after classes).

These offices will offer information, registration, and voting services. Regardless of where your home riding is you can still visit these Elections Canada offices.  (i.e. if you've moved to Edmonton Strathcona for school, but are still registered to vote in your home riding elsewhere).

If you are away from your home riding, you'll be able to place your vote at these special Elections Canada Offices. If you do this, your vote will be a special ballot, and will be counted in your home riding during the regular election process. (i.e. if you're living in Lister but are registered back home in Vancouver East, your vote will still get to go to your home riding in Vancouver East... even though you marked your ballot while standing in Lister).

There are 39 post-secondary campuses participating in this pilot project, as it's hoped that these special centres will help to increase voter access. The sites were selected based on criteria developed through feedback from student, community, and aboriginal groups as well as the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, which is kind of cool. 

Also, remember that there are multiple opportunities for you to mark your ballot:

  • You can vote in advanced polls
  • You can vote ON election day
  • You can vote by mail (handy of you'll be away from home come election day)
  • You can vote at your nearest Elections Canada office
So, no you know. If you have any questions about the voting process, or if you need to get registered, then stop by the Elections Canada offices on campus. 

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