#ArtTransforms October 21, 2019

#VotingFromTheMargins: Election Day!

By Naty Tremblay

It’s Election Day!  From 9:30AM to 9:30PM, you can cast your ballot and possibly influence who will be representing Canadians and affecting legislation for the next four years on Parliament Hill.

Still unsure how to vote?

1. Not sure what you need? You may have gotten a “Voter Information Card” mailed to your residence. This will have the address of the polling station in your riding. Then just prance over there with your ‘Voter Info Card’ + a piece of ID!

2. Not sure which riding you are in or where your polling station is? Just type in your postal code on this site  and it will give you all the goods.

3. You don’t have a voter info card, you don’t have ID and/or you don’t have a mailing address but still want to vote? You can have someone with the required ID vouch for you. They will need their ID + proof of address and can accompany you to the polls in their riding. A person can only vouch once in an election. Ask a friend or trusted staff at your local community centre or youth-serving agency! If you’re downtown,  pop by SKETCH and we may be able to help!

4. You’re worried about strategic voting: like “if I vote for the Green party in my riding will that split the national vote and get the Conservatives elected as the ruling party?” You might consider doing a little quick research on the candidates and projections in your riding. If your riding has a toss up between two candidates then you may want to vote strategically for the “least bad option.” Otherwise vote for whoever you want!

You can find poll analysis and electoral projections for all 338 national ridings here

For many of us, voting feels really complicated. It is tied up with having status and citizenship which many of our community members are denied access to. For some, voting means participating in a government that has undue power over our own sovereign Indigenous Nations. For others, it means investing into governmental systems that have historically ignored or harmed us. We know changing the world requires work every day and many of us are involved at the community level. We also know the current climate, social and economic crisis is real and here.

There are now as many seniors as there are youth living in Canada, however 89% of seniors voted in the past election while only 35% of youth turned out. Voting is just one of many ways we can affect change.