Voting is a right as protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and is one of the country’s most cherished institutions. Whether it be federal, provincial or municipal, each of us should exercise our right to vote. Here’s what you need to know in order to vote in the 2013 May Provincial General Election.
Below, we’ll be covering:
In order to vote, you must:
In order to vote, you’ll need to have some sort of proof of identification. Acceptable types of ID are:
For example: healthcare card, birth certificate, Social Insurance Card, passport, citizenship document/certificate, Old Age Security Identification Card, Canadian Forces identification, Firearm Acquisition Certificate, firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence, Veterans Affairs Canada Health Care Identification Card, Correctional Service Canada Offender Identification Card.
For example: property tax assessment, income tax assessment notice, government cheque, government cheque stub, statement of employment insurance benefits paid, Canada Child Tax Benefit Statement, statement of Canada Pension Plan benefits, statement of Old Age Security.
For example: admissions letter, report card, transcript, residence acceptance, tuition/fees statement, student card.
Voters without the necessary identification can be vouched for by a voter in their electoral district who have the necessary ID themselves, a direct family member or someone who has legal authority to make personal care decisions for the voter.
To vouch, you must be:
You can only vouch for one person.
Your polling location will either be mailed to you, published in newspapers or other media or you’ll get a phone number to call to find out where it is.
Voting doesn’t just happen on the one general voting day. Here are all options available to you:
Right to time off
If you’re entitled to vote, you’re entitled to have four consecutive hours off during voting hours on General Voting Day – from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – as per Section 74 of the Election Act.
BUT, this doesn’t necessarily mean four hours off from work. It means there must be a four hour period of no work during voting time. It’s up to the employer to decide when their employees can take time off to vote – the beginning or end of a shift. It’s unnecessary if normal working hours already give the four hours of free time from employment. So if your shift ends at 4 p.m. or doesn’t start until noon, you’re not entitled to any time off. But if your shift runs from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., you should be let off early at 4 p.m.
It’s an offence for an employer to take any deduction from an employee’s pay, or exact any other penalty, for time off for voting. Employees are entitled to their regular compensation for those hours not worked while voting.
From February 25 to March 15, Elections BC is mailing B.C. residents with notices about the election. If you haven’t received a letter in the mail to verify your information, head to www.elections.bc.ca/ovr to register online or call 1-800-661-8683. Doing it online will probably take you less than 5 minutes and you’ll need your B.C. driver’s licence number or the last six digits of your Social Insurance Number.
Featured Image: Dave Huehn / Flickr
Source: Elections B.C.