Newmarket residents will join the rest of Canada in voting in the Sept. 20 federal election, but you can already get ready to vote.
Elections Canada is preparing to run its first federal election of the pandemic and has started to release information about earlier voting procedures. It is implementing safety precautions at polling stations, along with preparing for an increased number of mail-in ballots.
“Given the ongoing pandemic, Elections Canada, in consultation with public health authorities, has implemented a range of measures at polling places and Elections Canada offices to protect electors, election workers and political participants,” the organization said in a news release. “These measures include providing protective equipment for poll workers and office workers and hand sanitizer and masks for electors.”
Here is what you need to know about voting in this year’s election:
Elections Canada will be sending out voting information cards through the mail to show people their polling locations. You must be 18 or older and registered at your current address. Most people are already correctly registered, but you can confirm your registration status through the Elections Canada website or by contacting your local Elections Canada office. You can call 1-800-463-6868 for more information.
“We may be using non-traditional polling locations,” chief electoral officer Stéphane Perrault said. “The voter information card will give electors all the information they need to plan their safe voting experience.”
To vote, you will need to provide one piece of government-issued identification with your current address. You can also show two pieces of other identification with at least one featuring your current address, such as a voter information card and a bank statement. Finally, you can declare your identity and address in writing and have someone who knows you and is assigned to your polling station vouch for you.
You can visit a polling location Sept. 20 to vote in person. Advanced poll options will also be available Sept. 10 to 13.
You can also vote at your local Elections Canada office anytime before Sept. 14 at 6 p.m, though Elections Canada has not yet announced its office location for Newmarket-Aurora.
For mail voting, you can apply up until Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. You can apply online or by contacting an Elections Canada Office. Applicants will be sent a special voting kit. Mail-in ballots must be returned by Sept. 20 at 6 p.m.
“Electors voting by mail should plan ahead,” the agency said. “They must allow time for their voting kit to reach them and for their marked ballot to be returned."
In Newmarket-Aurora, voters will be choosing between incumbent Tony Van Bynen of the Liberal Party, Harold Kim of the Conservative Party, Yvonne Kelly of the NDP, Tim Flemming of the Green Party, and Lana Morgan of the People's Party of Canada.
More information on voting is available at elections.ca. NewmarketToday will update this story as more information about local polling locations and Elections Canada offices is released.