Elections Canada pilot project lets students, aboriginal people vote far from home
Pop-up returning offices on campuses and at native friendship centres close Thursday at 8 p.m.
An Elections Canada pilot project to make it easier for students to vote by special ballot right on campus will end at 8 p.m. Thursday, when pop-up returning offices close.
For the first time, Elections Canada set up temporary returning offices at 72 locations across Canada, including 57 pop-up offices on 39 university and college campuses, 13 at aboriginal friendship centres and two at urban YMCAs.
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A spokesman for Elections Canada, James Hale, said the offices were in place for four days this week.
The idea, Hale said, was "just a way of getting out further into the community."
"Any eligible voter could visit the office to register, get information or vote by special ballot."
Anyone eligible to vote, including students, has always had the right to vote by special ballot while away from their home riding. The pilot project is underway to make the voting process more accessible.
Those who cast a ballot at one of the pop-up locations will vote by special ballot, and their vote will be counted in the riding where their home address is located.
"If they're going to school in Montreal, for example, but their regular residence – their parents' residence, let's say – is in Calgary, they have the option, provided they can prove their identity and residence, to vote where they're going to school or in their parents' riding," Hale explained.
Pop-up riding offices are open Thursday, Oct. 8 until 8 p.m. at a number of institutions in Montreal and Quebec City, including McGill University, Concordia University, Vanier College and Dawson College, and at the Native Friendship Centre of Montreal.
To find out the location of the electoral office in your home riding – and for other information on how to vote – go toElections.ca