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“What?! An election?” Here’s what you need to know!

city-hall

If you weren’t aware (despite the ever-increasing presence of campaign signs) there is a municipal election coming to Hamilton next week. To get your say in who represents you at City Hall and in the school board, you’ve got to use your right to vote. This blog post will connect you with everything you need to make an informed decision:

When is this thing?
Election day is Monday, October 27th. Your polls will be open for voting (at least) between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and may be open earlier.

Where do I go?
This super-helpful tool on Hamilton’s website will help you find a voting location close to you. Alternatively, if you received a Voter Identification Card in the mail, it will tell you where to vote.

I’ve never voted in Hamilton before/Just moved here, what do I do?
If you are new here or only live here as a student, you can still vote! You may not be on the pre-determined Voters’ List BUT THAT’S OKAY!
All you need to do is show up at your polling location (Look up there ^) and fill out a simple form (Application to Amend the Voters’ List). It’s much easier than it sounds.

Wait, am I even eligible to vote?
Anyone who meets these standards is eligible to vote:
– a Canadian Citizen
– at least 18 years old
– Not serving a penal/prison sentence
– Has a Hamilton residential address

Do I need to bring anything?
Yes, a voter needs to prove their identity . So, you need a piece of ID and proof of Hamilton address. There are tons of acceptable documents:

  1. An Ontario driver’s licence
  2. An Ontario Health Card (photo card)
  3. An Ontario Photo Card
  4. An Ontario motor vehicle permit (vehicle portion)
  5. A cancelled personalized cheque
  6. A mortgage statement, lease or rental agreement relating to property in Ontario
  7. An insurance policy or insurance statement
  8. A loan agreement or other financial agreement with a financial institution
  9. A document issued or certified by a court in Ontario
  10. Any other document from the government of Canada, Ontario or a municipality in Ontario or from an agency or such a government
  11. Any document from a Band Council in Ontario established under the Indian Act (Canada)
  12. An income tax assessment notice
  13. A Child Tax Benefit Statement
  14. A Statement of Employment Insurance Benefits Paid T4E
  15. A Statement of Old Age Security T4A (OAS)
  16. A Canada Pension Plan Statement of Contributions
  17. A Statement of Direct Deposit for Ontario Works
  18. A Statement of Direct Deposit for Ontario Disability Support Program
  19. A credit card statement, bank account statement, or RRSP, RRIF, RHOSP or T5 statement
  20. A document showing campus residence, issued by the office or officials responsible for student residence at a post-secondary institution
  21. A utility bill for hydro, water, gas, telephone or cable TV or a bill from a public utilities commission
  22. A cheque stub, T4 statement or pay receipt issued by an employer
  23. A transcript or report card from a post-secondary school

What’s a Ward, and which one is mine?
For election purposes, the city is divided into 15 wards. Each ward elects one City Councillor and that person represents the whole ward at City Hall. If you don’t know which ward you live in, check out this map for help.

Hold on buddy, that’s all great, but I don’t even know anything about the candidates. How am I supposed to know who to vote for?
Sometimes that can be the hardest part of an election- either it’s too difficult to choose which candidate to vote for, or you don’t even know who’s running.

We’ve got you covered:

All of the candidates running for Mayor or City Council can be found by clicking here. You can visit their websites and read about each of their backgrounds and platforms. You can also search for their names in the news.

Same thing for Public School Board candidates by clicking here.

There you go, that should be everything you need to know. Now go our there and get yo’ vote on!

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