UPDATED WITH INFORMATION FOR IF ELECTIONS CANADA WEBSITE ISN’T WORKING
Here we are, the end of the longest election campaign in modern history. Look, I’ll level with you: sometimes, it feels like your vote doesn’t matter, especially here in northern B.C. Usually, we know who’s going to form government by the time we’re done with Quebec and Ontario, so the results can feel like something of an afterthought.
But this time, it’s different. First of all, we have a real three-way race nationally and it’s impossible to guess how that will play out. There’s a whole ton of different configurations based on majorities, strong minorities, weak minorities, and coalitions. And so it’s quite possible no deals will be made until the votes are counted out west. And secondly, Prince George is in play. Whereas in the past it’s been pretty easy to predict what was going to happen come election day, this time all the major parties have been running strong campaigns, getting their candidates out to events, going door-to-door, talking to media, and generally making it more likely that someone will vote for them. So as much as it’s a cliché to say this time, truly, every vote counts.
But hey, you’ve been busy, and aren’t quite sure how to go about voting. Well, here’s a handy guide.
UPDATE: Elections.ca is experiencing issues. If the below isn’t working, you can go directly to the postal code page here. If THAT doesn’t work, some of the major federal parties have tools to find your voting station as well, so head to the party website of your choice.
If you head to elections.ca it’s pretty easy to find out. Here, let me show you.
First, type in your postal code and hit “Go.”
Then you’ll be taken to a page with the name of your riding (either Cariboo-Prince George or Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies). That’s your riding!
Now click on the “Where Do I Vote?” option.
Then you’ll be given a page that shows you where you should be voting, including a link to Google Maps so you can get directions.
Lucky for you, the city of Prince George is providing free transit today so you can vote. And the PG transit system was recently updated to work with Google Maps. So you can just type in where you are and where you need to go, and the power of the internet will tell you how to get there, for free! Check it out, you can get from downtown to my voting station in half-an-hour, but you’ll actually be able to find something much closer.
Cool fact: you are required, by law, to be given three consecutive hours to vote. The polls open at 7 am and they close at 7 pm. So let’s say your job is 9-5. That gives you only two hours prior to your shift and two hours at the end. That means your employer is federally mandated to either let you come in an hour late or leave an hour early in order to go vote (and still be paid for a full day’s work). If you aren’t given this time, your employer could be fined $2,000 or sent to jail for three months.
First of all, you do not need a photo ID. A photo ID is useful because if you have it, you don’t need anything else. But if you don’t have photo ID, you can still vote. There are a literally dozens of things you can use to prove your identity, including debit and credit cards, mail with your name on it, the label of a prescription container – find the whole list here (or, if elections.ca is down, find the whole list here or here!). And if you don’t have anything with your current address, you can take an oath.
No worries! You can register when you go to vote. Just bring that stuff from the last question, and they’ll help you out. More information here.
The polls open at 7 am and the first pitch is at 5 pm and it’s easy to get around this city so honestly, this shouldn’t be a problem.
No comment on this one, but you can get informed. Here are some resources.
About the parties
About the candidates
Well, Elections Canada has a whole ton of answers, especially in their Frequently Asked Questions section. But if that doesn’t work, feel free to reach out to me and I can try to find the answer – I’m on Twitter @akurjata.
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