North

Out of the territory during the Yukon election? There's a ballot for that

Changes to the Yukon's election rules means people who will be out of the territory during an election can now cast a ballot in advance. The assistant Chief Electoral Officer said Yukon is the last jurisdiction in Canada to allow for special ballots.

People who will not be in the territory during the upcoming election can now vote in advance

Premier Darrell Pasloski, seen here delivering the 2016/17 territorial budget, is expected to call the next Yukon election by October 14, 2016. (Claudiane Samson/Radio-Canada)

Changes to the Yukon Elections Act means university students studying outside the territory can now cast their ballot before heading back to school this fall. 

In previous elections, students and others who are going to be away could designate a person to vote on their behalf. 

The new amendments, made during the spring sitting of the Yukon Legislature, mean those voters can now indicate which party they want to support even if there is not yet a nominated candidate for their riding.

"It sounds like it'll be a much faster process, less time-consuming, less stressful, just get it done," said 19-year-old Adrian Woodhouse, who is heading to Ontario to study music theatre. "I think it'll be good. I think this will make it a lot easier." 

The Yukon's next territorial election will be this fall. It is expected to be called before October 14 and already, the main political parities have nominated candidates in many ridings.  

Dave Wilkie, the territory's assistant Chief Electoral Officer, said Yukon is the last jurisdiction in the country to switch to special ballots from proxy votes. 

"There's more options than ever before to vote independently and confidentially, and that's whether people are inside or outside the territory," he said.

Wilkie said this will be last election where people can vote by proxy, adding that so far, the new special ballot is proving popular. 

"We've had quite a few people, students particularly, that have been coming in the last few weeks." 

With files from Nancy Thomson

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