Elections Canada Nanaimo Offices

Elections Canada Nanaimo Offices

Elections Canada has opened Nanaimo offices for the October 14, 2008, federal election. The office for the riding of Nanaimo-Alberni is in the Nanaimo North Centre (aka Rutherford Mall), 4750 Rutherford Road, Suite 115 on the mall near Sears. For the riding of Nanaimo-Cowichan, the office is at Dufferin Crescent School, 1111 Dufferin Crescent near the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, tel 1-866-545-0621. Both offices are open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 9 pm, Saturday 9 am to 6 pm, Sunday noon to 4 pm. If you have moved since the 2006 federal election, it might be worth dropping into one of these offices to make sure your name and address are correctly entered on the National Register of Electors. Otherwise, you'll be receiving a confirmation card in the mail soon informing you where to to go vote.

Only Canadian citizens 18 or older on polling day are allowed to vote. Proof of identity and residence will be required. Homeless people are entitled to vote. Acccording to the Elections Canada website, for a homeless person to register beforehand, “the attestation of residence by the administrator of a local shelter is acceptable, if the shelter has provided food, lodging or other social services to the elector.” Otherwise, “a person who is homeless can register on election day as long as another voter who is registered in the same electoral district, and who provides satisfactory proof of identity and residence, can vouch for that person.”

Voting is a civic duty of every Canadian. In my opinion, those who can vote and fail to do so are shooting themselves in the foot. Why is education not a big issue in federal elections while issues affecting seniors such as health care are always front and center? Because seniors vote en masse while among young people the turnout is generally low. If the percentage of young Canadians voting was anywhere near that of seniors casting ballots, politicians would take them a lot more seriously. Those who don't vote send the wrong message.

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