The upcoming federal elections will be the first time that the entire millennial generation will be able to vote. They represent 20 percent of the population of Canada, which has the potential to sway the election in any direction.
Many millennials are first-time voters and might not know how to vote or how voting works. But don’t worry: voting is much easier than you think.
In order to vote, you must be a Canadian citizen and be at least 18 years old by the election date (which is—in case you’ve missed it—October 19).
First-time voters must register as a voter—this can also be done on elections day at the polling station. If you like to do things early, you can register ahead of time on the Elections Canada website. Either way, you will need a driver’s license or two other forms of ID.
Are you living on campus or away from home? Have no fear because you, too, can vote. In previous years, you had to vote at the polling station designated for the address you registered with. Now, you simply have to choose which address you want to use when registering and will vote for the candidates present in the riding you selected.
Following registration, you’re ready to vote.
You can vote in one of three ways: in person on October 19, in person on the advanced polling days (October 9-12), or at any Elections Canada office in Canada.
Don’t really feel like going anywhere beyond UTM or home? Well, there’s also a solution for that: you’re allowed to vote in advance at the U of T St. George campus. As you may already know, transportation is simple—shuttle buses run directly between UTM and St. George.
Alternatively, you can find which polling station is designated for your area using the Elections Canada website. Once again, you must bring either your driver’s license or two other pieces of ID to the polling station.
However, the most important part of voting (which should actually be done first) is doing your research in order to make an informed decision.
Mike Dopsa, a third-year student at UTM, made a podcast titled Canadian Politics Explained: A Podcast for First-Time Voters, which outlines the viewpoints of the three major parties on a wide variety of issues. The podcast is recommend for anyone who is trying to get a better understanding of the federal election without watching the news for hours.
When asked why he made the podcast, Dopsa said, “The main goal was that if one other person was to listen that to that podcast and then make an informed decision, then my mission is accomplished.”
During the last federal elections, only 38 percent of students voted. Students are a much larger portion of the voting population this year, so it’s even more important to vote.
For more information on how to vote, you can visit the Elections Canada website or the booths in the Davis Building, where they also have applications for ballot counting positions. Remember to voice your opinion this election and remember to vote.
Looking for a TL;DR version? Here’s a checklist below:
- Be a Canadian citizen
- Be at least 18 years old
- Find your designated polling station on the Elections Canada website
- Bring your driver’s license or two pieces of ID to your polling station on October 19
- And finally, VOTE