DO YOU HAVE THE IDENTIFICATION YOU NEED TO VOTE ON OCTOBER 19th? THE REQUIREMENTS HAVE CHANGED!
It is VERY important that you vote in the upcoming election. You don’t need me to tell you that – you already know. But what you might NOT know is that the voting RULES are different this year than before.
It’s all thanks to the “Fair Elections Act,” passed in February 2014 by the Conservative government. While they say it’s supposed to combat voter fraud, it may also make it more difficult for young folks, immigrants and other new residents of Toronto to vote.
Why young people specifically? Especially in urban areas, many young adults and students are new to the city, are renters, or move frequently. You might not always go to the trouble of changing your address on your driver’s license or other identification each time you move. Or you might not have changed everything over from your parent’s address. But PROOF OF ADDRESS in the riding you are voting in is very important for this year’s election.
When you get to the polls on October 19th, YOU CAN SHOW your DRIVER’S LICENSE… *IF* it has your current address. You can also show two pieces of OTHER forms of identification, listed HERE.
— but only if one has your current address.
If you have NOTHING with your current address on it, you can show TWO pieces of ID with your name on it and get someone registered in your same polling division to vouch for you – but any single person cannot vouch for more than one voter. (Not so handy if you’re brand new to the neighbourhood and you don’t know anyone, but maybe a good excuse to meet the neighbours?)
The tricky part is: if you’re a student who has just moved into residence in a new city and you have not changed your address on your ID yet- or if you’re a young renter who moves frequently, you will need to find another proof of address because they will NOT accept your VOTER INFORMATION CARD as proof of address. Take some time to look for a bank statement, a lease agreement or another valid piece of correspondence listed in the link below. REMEMBER: Your passport will not work as your address ID either.
AGAIN – your VOTER INFORMATION CARD WILL NOT SERVE AS PROOF OF YOUR ADDRESS.
Update your information on your documents now, or make sure you have other valid proofs of address. Full list of valid identification is HERE.
The “Fair” Elections Act (I can think of another “F” word that might more aptly describe it) also decrees that Elections Canada cannot run any ads encouraging people to vote.
BUT HEY – I CAN ENCOURAGE YOU TO VOTE.
PLEASE. VOTE. It’s important.
(Photo by Keith Ivey via Flickr)