A guide to voting in the federal election

Galen Eye Centre

The federal election takes place on Monday, October 19th.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

They say the first time’s always special. 

Voting in your first federal election can be nerve-racking, and many young voters in Canada inevitably question whether their vote will make a difference. But no matter what riding you live in, every vote counts.

If you’re 18 and a Canadian citizen, you can exercise a right that many youth around the world are striving to achieve. 

We live in a liberal, democratic society where voting is often viewed as an afterthought; where youth don’t vote in droves; where slacktivism trumps activism.

But on Oct. 19 that all changes — all you have to do is vote. 

It’s quite simple to vote in Kingston as a student. 

All you need to do is show up at your local polling station with a piece of government-issued ID with your address on it or two documents, one of which has to prove you reside in Kingston. For many students, this means a copy of a utility bill or their lease. For students living in residence, that means proof that you do, indeed, live in residence. 

Queen's students who are proud to vote. 

Other ID that can be used to prove your Kingston identity include: a cable bill, a bank statement, a prescription bottle label or an official Queen’s document containing your Kingston address. One of the two documents must have your Kingston address.

You can also register to vote at your local polling station on Election Day. The line may be long, but it will be worth it in the end. 

If you haven’t done your research on who’s running in what riding, below is a rundown of the Kingston candidates. 

There are five candidates in Kingston and the Islands: Daniel Beals (New Democratic Party), Andy Brooke (Conservative), Mark Gerretsen (Liberal), Luke McAllister (Libertarian) and Nathan Townend (Green). Incumbent Liberal MP Ted Hsu isn’t running for re-election. 

Polls will be open for 12 hours on Oct. 19. Take a couple minutes out of your day to vote.  

“So what? I still don’t think my vote will make a difference. I really don’t care about politics.”

In an election as close as this one, with the possibility of a historic finish, every vote in every riding truly matters. 

Youth across the country have the power to create change in the country and get federal politicians to focus on issues which affect such a large portion of the population. 

Sure, for many of us, it’s our first time voting federally, and there may be many people in the same room as you during your first time. But the first time’s always special. Vote. 

Corrections

October 17, 2015
The following article has been corrected to reflect that the deadline for voting in your home riding has passed. It was also edited to clarify that three pieces of ID are not needed for voting, and that library cards and students cards cannot be used to prove your Kingston address unless they contain the address.

The Journal regrets the error.

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