Casting the Ballot: Are You Ready?

Monday, October 19th is almost here, and I’m hoping you are all planning to vote this upcoming Federal Election. I mean after all, it is our right to decide who runs our country, and is also something we shouldn’t ever take for granted.

Being that we live in Canada, I don’t believe we truly appreciate this right we have.

Many people around the world are not given the chance to pick who their leaders are, but yet large numbers of Canadians don’t make it out to the polls. For example, Statistics Canada states that in 2011, 10 million registered voters didn’t even show up to vote, and the majority of this non-voting group tended to be younger in age. In the same year, only 50% of 18 to 34 year olds voted, compared to the approximately 75% of voters aged 45 to 74.

In the end, we Canadians need to get out to vote this year, and to ensure that you are ready for the big day, here are some questions that will make voting as easy as possible.

Canada Federal Election

Are you registered?

The first and most important question is, can you even vote?

If this is the first election you are participating in, it is not just as easy as just showing up to any old voting station and checking a box. No, before anything, you have to register. Elections Canada has three simple ways you can do this: online, via mail, or at a local Elections Canada Office.

Because we live in the 21st Century, registering online is probably your easiest option. All you need to have with you is something that verifies your name and address (i.e. Driver’s License, or Province/Territory ID Card).

Anyway you do it, just make sure to have registered by Tuesday, October 13, or that you have mailed your registration application in prior to that date. For more information on this process, click here!

If you are already registered, you should have been mailed a Voter Information Card by now and it will tell you where and when you can vote.

If you are unsure if you are registered or not, find out here.

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Do you know where and when to cast your ballot?

If you have not received an information card, that will tell you where and when to go, for any reason, never fear, because by simply typing in your Postal Code on this page, you can find out your designated station and the hours you are free to go there at.

Do you have your election day planned out?

Have you looked at your own October 19th schedule yet? I know I’m at work and school from 6:00am to 9:00pm, therefore, not able to make it to the polling station in time (mine is between 7:00am to 7:00pm).

Are you in this same situation? Because thankfully, there are Advanced Voting Days! I may sound like a broken record here, but the information for those advanced days are either on your Voter Information Card, or on the Elections Canada website after you type in your Postal Code.

Do you even know who you’re going to vote for?

 Now, we’ve all seen and heard the Federal Election advertisements, watched (some of?) the debates, and read and watched (some?) News stories over the past few months, but who has taken the time to check out each parties’ platform?

If you haven’t really looked closely into it, I’d suggest taking some time to do the extra research. How are you going to make an informed choice if all the information you make your decision off of is what other people say, or what you hear in the media?

To start you off, click here for a directory of  Canada’s political parties .

Federal Leaders