By: Fallon Mawhinney
After one day of special balloting for the October 19th federal election, you’d have to work pretty hard to escape the barrage of posters, Facebook posts, and people hassling you while you’re drinking your morning coffee to head down to vote. However, if you are still confused about the general state of affairs regarding advance polls at UPEI (not to be confused with the UPEI Fall Election, a different kettle of fish altogether), the Cadre is here to set you straight.
Here’s the breakdown: UPEI is part of a new initiative, called the Special Voting Rules Expansion Intiative (SVRE), to encourage students living within and outside of their “home” ridings to vote in this fall’s federal election. Read: It doesn’t matter where in Canada you live, you can vote on campus for any riding from October 5-8, from 10 am-8 pm at Andrew Hall, room 142. This is a Canada-wide program designed to encourage an increase in voting access for youth. SVRE sites were selected based on several criteria; there is at least one (and in some cases more then one) station at each of the 10 largest universities defined by student body and at least one at the largest post-secondary institutions in each of the remaining provinces and territories. Stations are also located at the largest CEGEPs in Quebec and at several youth and Friendship Centres throughout the country. Both UPEI and Holland College are hosting SVREs.
All you have to do is head down to Andrew Hall, turn right after you come in the main residence door, and bring with you a driver’s license, and proof of address in the riding that you are voting in (which may be the same piece of ID, if your driver’s license is up-to-date with your current address). If you have recently switched addresses, you may need to bring a statement or bill with your current address – i.e. if your driver’s license says you’re from Winnipeg, but you’re voting in Charlottetown, you will need to have proof of your new address. For students in residence, they can print out a Letter of Confirmation of Residence and have it signed by the UPEI Residence Life or Housing Coordinators and bring it as proof of residence.
This is an incredible opportunity, UPEI! This fall, instead of spending that extra five minutes before class playing Candy Crush, do yourself a favor and head down and vote. You won’t regret it.