Voting 101: A Guide to Thursday’s Election

Hey Warriors! Provincial Elections are happening this Thursday, and we’re here to get you ready to vote. Whether you’re in school or working this term, come out and make your voice heard in this year’s election.

Step 1: Voter Registration

Check if you registered to vote in Waterloo. Your voter identification card (VIC) would have arrived by mail last month if you registered. With your VIC and one other piece of ID (Ontario Health Card, Driver’s License or Canadian Passport) you’re all set to head to the polls.

I didn’t register!

Don’t have a VIC? No problem, you’ll just need to bring ID.

When you go to vote you’ll need photo ID (Ontario Health Card, Driver’s License or Canadian Passport) and a document with your name and current address. Ensure that this address is in the riding you want to vote in.

Some valid documents include:

  • Bank statement
  • Hydro bill
  • Lease - for those living in a Waterloo or University College residence on campus, you can contact your Front Desk to ask for a letter that serves this purpose

Note: If you don’t have proof-of-address you can still go vote! Elections officials will ask you to swear an oath at the polling place stating that you are a Canadian citizen living in that riding.

Step 2: Where and when do I vote?

Election Day is Thursday, June 7. Write it down! Set a reminder! There are a couple situations you may find yourself in as you’re preparing to vote.

I’m voting in the Waterloo riding.

Great, take your voting IDs to Student Life Centre on June 7 and vote.

I want to vote in the Waterloo riding, but Waterloo isn’t my hometown.

No problem! While your ID may have your hometown address, the secondary voting registration documents will verify your residence in the Waterloo riding. Bring your documents to the Student Life Centre on June 7, and you’re set.

I want to vote for the riding back in my hometown, but I’m in Waterloo.

Elections Canada advises advance polling in this case. While the deadlines for voting by mail have ended and the advanced polls closed on June 1, you still have the option of voting by special ballot.

To do this you will need to bring your ID and a document with your Waterloo address to a returning office in Waterloo where you’ll be asked to fill out an application package before you can fill in your ballot. It’s some work to get that vote in, but definitely worthwhile.

I’m away from my hometown and/or Waterloo on a co-op work term.

Unfortunately, if you are on co-op outside of Canada, the opportunity to vote by mail has ended and the deadline to apply to register as an absentee elector has passed. Read up on the absentee election process in case you are out of the country during a future election.

If you’re away on co-op somewhere in Ontario, and would like to vote for the riding back in your hometown, you’ll need to vote by special ballot. Find your returning office using the postal code of where you are living for co-op, and be sure to vote on June 6 before 6PM.

If you’re away on co-op you also have the option to vote in the riding where you are residing for the duration of your co-op term. Find a voting station in your riding using the postal code of where you are living for co-op and bring your voter IDs.

Remember, by Canadian law, your employer is required to give you the time to vote.

I’m in my hometown, where do I go to vote?

You can determine your voting location using Elections Canada’s Voting Information System, and be ready June 7 with your voter ID.

Step 3: Who am I voting for?

If you’re not sure who’s running in your riding, you can find the candidates in your riding using your postal code. Use that information to research what their plans are for your community.

In Waterloo the candidates are:

  • Andrew Allison - Libertarian
  • Catherine Fife - Ontario NDP/NPD
  • Dorothy Mccabe - Ontario Liberal Party
  • Dan Weber - PC Party of Ontario
  • Zdravko Gunjevic - Green Party of Ontario

Make an informed decision by taking a look at the party platforms and other plans before going into the polls. Here are the ConservativeLiberalNDPLibertarian, and Green Party platforms.

You’ll want to look at other external resources too. Try to find grade reports from special interest or not-for-profit groups that reflect what issues you want to be addressed, and what you value. 

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