Voting In The 2011 Federal Election: A How-To Guide

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May 2nd is right around the corner, which means if you are a Canadian citizen and are over the age of 18, you still have time to make up your mind and vote in our Federal Election!

Maybe you haven’t voted before, or haven’t voted in a while, or maybe you’ve moved recently and aren’t sure what you need to bring to the polls. Well then this post is for you. Voting in 3 Easy Steps!

Step One: Decide Who to Vote For

Do some research, see what the different parties plan to do about issues you care about.

The Major Party Websites are here: Green Party of Canada, New Democratic Party, Liberal Party of Canada, Conservative Party of CanadaThe Bloc Quebecois.

Party Leaders on Twitter: Green Party – @ElizabethMay NDP – @JackLayton Liberals -  @M_Ignatieff Conservatives – @pmharper Bloc – @GillesDuceppe

Other Great Resources:

http://politwitter.ca/ indexes information about Canadian Political Conversations on Twitter. You can find out what the leaders are saying, find candidates in your riding, see what others in your riding are tweeting about, and more.

If you’re on Twitter, take a look at some of the hashtags people are using to mark conversations about the election. Try #elxn41 or #cdnpoli, #youthvote, #momthevote #dadthevote and #femvote are also great places to check out. Party specific hashtags are #LPC #GPC #NDP #CPC and #BQ, see what other Canadians are saying!
Your local media may also have more information for you – check out what people in your riding are saying about the candidates, and what the candidates are saying about issues in your riding.

Step Two: Find Out Where to Vote

If you haven’t received a vote card in the mail, the best place to go to find this out is the Elections Canada Website from there you can enter your postal code to find out your riding and your polling place. If you have received a voter card in the mail, it should tell you exactly where to go. A voter card is not ID, if you’ve received one in the mail but with the name of a previous resident, this is still where you will go to vote, but you don’t need to take the card with you.

Step Three: What to Bring With You on May 2nd

On May 2nd you need to be able to prove your identity and your address in order to vote. That’s all.

There are a few ways to do this. 1.) ID such as a Driver’s License will prove both your identity & address. 2.) Two pieces of ID, of which at least one needs to have your address, such as a Passport or Health Card and a utility bill, bank statement, credit card bill or lease. 3.) Have a neighbour or roommate vouch for you at the polls. This person must be a registered voter in your polling division as you (not just the same riding) and they must come with you to the polling station on May 2nd.

More information is available on the Elections Canada website.

Happy Voting! And remember, the vote you cast is private, you don’t have to tell anyone who you’re voting for, it is your decision to make, and yours alone.


Image courtesy of Library Archives Canada via Flickr.

About the author

Pippa Adams has a Political Science degree from the University of Victoria. She is currently studying Communications at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. Pippa's blog about books, politics, pop culture & life in Vancouver can be found at www.coincidentalreality.com

One Comment

  1. art says:

    you could also check out http://www.vote.ca to find out where to vote

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