WiTOpoli’s Guide to Voting

On October 19, Canadians will cast their vote in Canada’s 42nd federal election. No matter where you sit on the political spectrum, WiTOpoli is here to help you get informed by highlighting issues that matter. Over the next month, we’ll be providing information on where the major parties stand on issues like housing, transportation, childcare and employment. But first, here’s the WiTOpoli Guide to Voting:

STEP 1: REGISTER

Check out the Elections Canada website to see if you are already registered to vote. If not, register now! It’s not essential to register in advance, because you can also register at the polls when you vote, but registering beforehand speeds up the process. It ensures that you are on the official voter’s list and that you’ll receive a Voter Information Card in the mail, telling you the location of your polling station, as well as advance polling stations. Advance polling stations will be open October 9-12 from 12-8 PM. If you are or will be abroad on election day, you must apply to vote by mail. In addition to the regular polling stations in your riding, you can vote at any Elections Canada office up until October 13.

STEP 2: PREPARE YOUR DOCUMENTS

To vote in a Canadian election, you must prove your identity and current address. There are three different methods of doing this. You do not need your Voter Information Card on-hand to vote, but bringing it with you to the polling station speeds up the process. However, this card does not qualify as a form of ID.

  1. provide one of the following: driver’s licence, province/territories identification card, or any government issued identification with your name, picture and current address
  2. provide any two pieces of ID (one must show your current address)
  3. provide two pieces of ID (without address) and bring someone who can take an oath on your behalf of your residence

ABORIGINAL VOTERS: More information here.

STUDENT VOTERS: Do you live in two different ridings while attending post-secondary? Pick the one you consider home and register there. There will also be advance polling stations at many postsecondary institutions from Oct. 5-8. For the full list check here.

ACCESSIBLE VOTING: Need accommodation on voting day? Elections Canada has put together a list of tools to assist you.

INCARCERATED VOTERS: If you are serving a sentence in a correctional facility on Election Day, you can still exercise your right to vote. See instructions here.

HOMELESS VOTERS: If you have no fixed address, you can find more information here on how to vote.

LONG-TERM CARE: If you are residing in a hospital or long-term care facility, Elections Canada will be offering mobile polling stations at many locations. For more information ask the administrator or contact Elections Canada directly at 1-800-463-6868.

STEP 3: KNOW YOUR RIDING

Riding boundaries have changed since the last federal election. Find your riding and a list of confirmed candidates here.

STEP 4: DO YOUR RESEARCH

At WiTOpoli, we’d like to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision on Election Day, so check back soon for information on where the major parties stand on issues like housing, transportation, childcare and employment. Until then, be sure to browse your local candidates’ websites, along with their affiliated parties. The five major parties and their leaders are listed below.

Elizabeth May, Green Party

Stephen Harper, Conservative

Justin Trudeau, Liberal

Tom Mulcair, New Democratic Party

Gilles Duceppe, Bloc Quebecois

In addition, make sure to check out websites like Pollenize.org and iCanParty.ca for user-friendly, up-to-date and non-partisan information on all the candidates. The CBC has also come out with a Vote Compass to help you better understand where you fit on the political spectrum.

STEP 5: SAVE THE DATE

Mark your calendars and go vote on election day, Oct. 19, or on the Advance Poll days. Don’t forget: your employer is required by law to allow you three hours of paid leave to vote.

Keep your eyes peeled for more #elxn42 coverage from WiTOpoli in the coming weeks!

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