(By: Kara Anderson)
So you’re attending university or college. You’ve moved out of your parent’s place, you’re living in residence, or you’ve found your own apartment downtown. Maybe you’re an out-of-province student. To top it off, you may finally be among those of age to vote.
The federal election takes place on Oct. 19. Young voter turnout is consistently lower than any other age group – only 38 per cent of eligible youth voted in the last federal election. In between your classes, take a moment to follow these three steps and cast a ballot this election.
Step 1: Find out whom you side with:
A lovely tool to figure out where your political opinions fall is the website and quiz “I Side With” at https://canada.isidewith.com/political-quiz. While this non-partisan election-based resource helps to show what political party might best suit you, bear in mind you should still research the individual candidates in your riding. Just because he or she’s a Liberal, Conservative, or NDP, doesn’t mean they’ll be beneficial to your local community!
Step 2: Are you registered to vote?
Most likely when you did your taxes, you probably checked the box saying you want to vote. That means you’re registered and should’ve received a voter’s card (http://www.elections.ca/res/glo/images/viclarge_e.jpg) by Oct. 1 in the mail. The card tells you where to vote and what time. You need to bring this card and some ID to the polling station to avoid delays.
Didn’t do your taxes? I’m not judging. Although, as a student, you’d probably get some money back, but I digress. You also might not have received your voter’s card if you recently moved and haven’t updated your address. Here’s how to check if you are registered:https://ereg.elections.ca/CWelcome.aspx
If you are not registered and for some weird reason you can’t figure out how to register online, you can still register at the polling station on voting day!
Step 3: If you have two homes, pick one.
You need to bring government-issued photo identification with an address that matches the riding you plan to vote in. But if your ID says your address is your parent’s place and that’s far away, you can show two pieces of non-photo ID instead. For example, a utility bill addressed to your new home, alongside a student card, will suffice.
If you want to vote in your riding back home you can cast a ballot at an advance polling station. Ryerson has one from Oct. 5 – 8, 10am – 8pm in the Student Centre, 201B Margaret Laurence Room, 55 Gould Street.