List of All Candidates Meetings (will be updated on an ongoing basis)
Ask your candidates what their plan is to address poverty reduction!
October 19th is Election Day in Canada.
The Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction is working to put Poverty on the agenda for all candidates (more to follow soon). Many of the issues that matter most to our communities are up for debate in this election, from childcare to housing to health care.
This year, though, things are a bit different as a result of the recently passed “Fair Elections Act”. Among other things, this Act has changed what you need in order to vote. Former Elections Canada officials, the Council of Canadians, and the Canadian Federation of Students have all noted how these could make it much harder for students, people who are homeless, and First Nations and Aboriginal members to vote in this crucial election.
So, here’s a run-down of some of the biggest changes and what they are going to mean for you this election:
One big change from the last election is that Voter Information Cards, which tell you where to vote, no longer count as proof of name or address. This means you will need other ID on you when you head to your polling station. You can use either a driver’s license or provincial ID card as a single piece of photo ID to prove your address and name.
If you don’t have a government issued photo ID, you need to provide two pieces of ID from a list available on the Elections Canada website. Neither has to have your photo, but at least one has to have your current address. You can use a number of items as a form of ID from a utility bill, to a credit card, to a hospital bracelet, to your health or SIN card.
However, if you don’t have a fixed address it may be tough to find a piece of ID that proves where you live. One option is to get a Letter of Confirmation of Residence from a shelter that you have used. A second and commonly used option in the past was vouching; however the rules around vouching have also changed as a result of the Fair Elections Act.
In the past, people in the same polling district could vouch for someone else’s ID and address as long as they (the voucher) had the right ID and signed an oath.
Under the Fair Elections Act, a partial ban on vouching means you can only vouch for someone’s address but not their identity. That means the person being vouched for now has to have two pieces of ID with their name on it. The person vouching has to have ID that proves both their name and address. They also have to be in the same polling division, meaning the same neighbourhood and can only vouch for one person.