At 10 days before the 2021 federal election, do you already know who you'll be supporting?
If 'yes' is your answer, then you can cast your ballot as early as today (Sept. 10).
Eligible Tri-City residents can participate in advanced voting in both the Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam and Port Moody-Coquitlam ahead of the Sept. 20 decision date.
Elections Canada has listed four different days when constituents can cast a ballot.
Advanced voting polls will be open between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on each of the following:
- Friday, Sept. 10
- Saturday, Sept. 11
- Sunday, Sept. 12
- Monday, Sept. 13
Locations are indicated on your voter information card, which Elections Canada says voters should have received in the mail by today.
You will be required to bring ID such as a driver's licence or any other card issued by a Canadian government that shows your photo, name and current address; or two pieces of ID with your name and current address (on at least one card).
The organization says if you didn't get a card, or if the information on it is incorrect, you may not be registered or your registration may not be up to date.
To check your registration and update your address information, you're encouraged to visit the Online Voter Registration Service, or call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868
You can also register when you go to vote.
All polling stations are set to follow health and safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic — same for voting on election day, Sept. 20. This includes wearing a mask, more hand sanitizing stations, physical distancing markers and plexiglass for Elections Canada volunteers.
B.C.'s Vaccine Card comes into effect on Monday (Sept. 13), but it's not required at voting locations.
OTHER WAYS TO VOTE
Elections Canada is once again offering a vote-by-mail option in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but interested residents must apply online to do so by 6 p.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 14).
The non-partisan organization says kits are coming very soon.
"Typically, the process takes up to 72 hours, but things may take a bit longer over these first few days as we get things up and running."
Once a voter receives a kit and decided a candidate, they must write the name on the ballot, then place it in a provided prepaid envelope to place in the mail.
Those choosing vote-by-mail can also bring the sealed envelope to their local Elections Canada office.
However, the organization says once you've successfully applied for a mail-in ballot, you can not vote by any other method.
ELECTIONS CANADA OFFICES
A special balloting process will be implemented if a resident is choosing to vote at either of Elections Canada's two offices in the Tri-Cities.
Now, this particular method won't include a list of candidates or the party they're affiliated with.
Elections Canada explains a blank space will be provided that will only require the first and last name of the candidate.
"You do not have to write the name of the political party, but if you do, your vote will still be counted as long as you also write the name of the candidate you're voting for. If you write only the name of a political party, your vote won't be counted."
The deadline to apply for Elections Canada's special ballot is also 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
However, the organization also says once you've successfully applied for this particular ballot, you can not vote by any other method.
Tri-City Elections Canada office locations are as follows:
- Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam
- Westwood Centre - 2748 Lougheed Hwy., Port Coquitlam
- Returning officer: Patricia Kostuk
- Port Moody-Coquitlam
- 1085 Woolridge St., Coquitlam
- Returning officer: Jane Pickering
Once these offices officially open for voting, the hours of operation will be:
- Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Sunday: noon to 4 p.m.
Voters in Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam and Port Moody-Coquitlam will still be able to endure the thrill of casting their ballot on decision day, Sept. 20.
Elections Canada says in-person voting will follow public health guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Constituents' respective locations to vote will be determined and displayed on their voter information card, and polls are scheduled to be open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
For more information, you're encouraged to visit Elections Canada's website.