Head’s up Nunavut and Nunavik — are you ready to vote?
Here’s a primer on how to ensure you can cast a ballot in the Oct. 19 federal election
Recent changes to Canada’s voter laws may leave at least some Northerners confused or even unable to vote in the Oct. 19 federal election.
So, Nunatsiaq News has compiled answers to some frequently asked questions with links to more information to get you prepared for voting day.
It’s probably a good idea first to check your voter registration status prior to the election. You can do that here.
Voter information cards, a traditional way to identify yourself at a polling station, are no longer an acceptable form of ID under the new Fair Elections Act.
Instead, voters will be expected to present a government-issued identification containing a photo, name and current address.
To confirm your voter registration status, you can go online, head to your local election office, or phone Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868.
If you’re on the registration list, and you still live at the same address they have on file — and have a piece of ID with your name, photo and current address on it — you’re good to go.
But for Nunavummiut who may not have piece of ID listing their current address — or who are staying in a house under someone else’s name — voting under the new format will require some extra work.
There are solutions — but you still must have at least one piece of identification.
You can follow these instructions before Election Day so you won’t be left unable to vote:
• If you don’t have government identification or if your ID does not have your current address, you can still register if you have two other pieces of non-government ID. Both must show your name at least, but one must also have your address. You could use a library card or a phone bill, for example. You can find a list of ID documents acceptable to Elections Canada here.
• If you have nothing proving where you live but you have two pieces of ID showing your name, you can have someone swear an oath on your behalf at a polling station. That person must also be registered in the same polling division and they may only attest for one person.
• If you have nothing showing your address and nobody to swear on your behalf, as long as you have some form of ID showing your name, it is still possible to vote. But you’ll need to complete a Letter of Confirmation of Residence form and have it signed by a local approved facility in your area. (A list of approved facilities in Nunavut can be found at the bottom of this article.)
Bring the letter and one piece of ID with your name on it to the polling station. You might want to do this, and complete your registration, before election day Oct. 19.
It’s important to note that identification documents in English, French or Inuktitut are all acceptable.
If you wish to cast your vote ahead of election day there are advanced polling stations across Nunavut. Advanced polls will be open Oct. 9 to Oct. 12, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
See documents below for a list of individuals and institutions able to sign a Letter of Confirmation of Residence, and a list of advanced polling stations.