Students find frustration in vote registration for federal election

New regulations surrounding the upcoming Federal election have many people wondering if they can vote. (Photo: Creative Commons)

David Wilson
News Reporter

Election Day is only weeks away and the government’s new voting requirements have left some students scratching their heads.

“I have no idea if I’m registered,” said Valentina Bussolotti, a third-year 3D animation student at Humber.

Bussolotti was surprised to find that being a citizen alone was not enough to grant her voter status.

“But I’m Canadian,” she said, puzzled.

Bussolotti said she hasn’t yet received her voter registration card, letting her know that her vote in this year’s election would be a legal one.

Other students were just as unsure whether or not their voices would be heard on October 19.

“I don’t know if I am on the voters’ list,” said 19-year-old Dainerys Alvarez.

Alvarez, a second-year business administration student at Humber, also said she didn’t know how to find out if she was eligible.

Elections Canada has taken to making the registration process much easier this time around.

“There’s a number of ways that voters can register,” said Dugald Maudsley, a spokesperson for Elections Canada.

“If you go to Elections.ca, you’ll see a box up in the left hand corner that says, ‘Am I Registered to Vote?’” said Maudsley. “That tool can be used in order to register.”

Maudsley said that the site re- quests several pieces of identification to start the process, but added that if a student doesn’t have the required documents to join the voter list online, there are other ways of getting their registry verified in time for the election.

He said students can visit their regional Elections Canada office on any day before October 13 to confirm their status in person.

Maudsley noted students can also get in contact by mail or phone if they only need to update their registry or change their address.

He also said though voters are technically able to fill out the necessary documents at the polls on the 19th, Elections Canada is encouraging Canadians to be a little more proactive with their vote.

“It’s not the best way,” Maudsley said. “We really want everyone to register in advance if possible.”

He said Elections Canada promotes use of the website as the first line of defense against confusion at the poll.

And with so many avenues to the voters’ list, it seems that there’s no excuse for students not to get out and vote on Election Day.

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