“Every voice matters and every vote counts in an election,” said Concordia President Graham Carr in an emailed statement sent to the Concordian. “Concordia is happy to host, like several post-secondary campuses, polling stations for our community and our neighbours.”
From Oct. 5 to 9, those who are eligible can cast their votes ahead of the official Oct. 21 date. Advanced voting is available at several other universities and CEGEPs across the country for this year’s federal election.
According to Pierre Pilon, Regional Media Advisor for Elections Canada, the initiative to make voting more accessible to students began in 2015. The last federal election launched a pilot project involving 40 post-secondary institutions to offer advanced voting to students and staff. Concordia partnered up with the project for a second term this year, along with over 100 other institutions.
Pilon said this partnership is voluntary.
Offered on both the Loyola and downtown campuses, eligible Canadians can vote at the following times: Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Oct. 6, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Oct. 7, 8 and 9 from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
“I encourage everyone, and especially our students, to make their voice heard by taking advantage of the on-campus polling stations at Concordia and the possibility to vote early on certain days even if this is not your assigned polling station,” said Carr.
Concordia student James William Altimas, 22, said he plans to vote. The joint specialization anthropology and sociology student said the climate march on Sept. 27 solidified his decision. Seeing such a large number of people manifesting for change inspired him and made him think that his vote, along with all the others, could change something.
“The big reason why I’m voting is because of climate change,” said Altimas. “Maybe we can make a difference.”
“I voted before but never really thought it was going to make a difference,” he continued. “But this time around, there’s a lot of people realizing that we’re fucked if we don’t do anything.”
How to register to vote
Those who are over 18, have proof of Canadian citizenship, and have an address, can vote.
You must register before voting, otherwise you are ineligible. You can use the Online Voter Registration Service before Tue Oct. 15 by 6 p.m.
You can also register to vote in person at any Elections Canada office across Canada. If you register before the 15th, you will get a voter information card in the mail that tells you where and when you can vote.
Alternatively, you can register to vote on Oct. 21, the official date of the elections. Don’t forget to bring proof of address with you. Before voting, you should know the names of the MPs running in your electoral district.
At Loyola campus, the polling station is located at the Jesuit Hall Conference Centre, RF Atrium. For the downtown campus, it’s located at the J.W. McConnell Building, in the LB Atrium.
Graphic by Victoria Blair