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Fall election: take three

The Daily runs down how to register and vote for the December 8 provincial election

Another month, another election. It’s important to vote if you’re eligible, and that you register ahead of time. Here’s everything about how to vote in the December 8 provincial election.

Am I eligible to vote?

All Canadian citizens over 18 on December 8 can vote – if they have been a resident of Quebec for at least six months. While this disqualifies most U0 students, most other Canadian students can vote. The six months, however, don’t need to be consecutive – it’s alright if you left for the summer, provided you were living here before June. According to Elections Quebec, students “can apply to vote in the electoral division where they are residing for their studies.”

Am I registered to vote?

Possibly not, so get on that. If you aren’t on the list of electors at your current address by December 4, you cannot vote. Unlike the federal election, there is no registration on election day, so check carefully to make sure you’re registered. Elections Quebec should have sent you a card listing everyone registered to vote at your address. If your name is not on the card, you need to register.

How do I register?

It is explained on your card. If you didn’t receive one, go to, Elections Quebec’s web site. Besides checking to see if you are registered, you can enter your postal code and address to see where you can vote and where you can register. Most people must go to the office of the returning officer to register, but those in most McGill residences and the surrounding area – generally, north of St. Antoine, west of St. Laurent, south of Rachel and the mountain, and east of Peel or University – can register at New Residence Hall, at 3625 du Parc. Registration there will be open until Tuesday, November 25, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. After that, you can register up until 2 p.m. on December 4, but only at the office of the returning officer, and you cannot vote in advance polls. To register you’ll need two pieces of identification, one with your name and address and one with your name and date of birth.

What do I need to vote?

Bring either your health insurance card, your driver’s licence, your Canadian passport, your certificate of Indian status, or your Canadian Forces ID. Based on past evidence, it is likely that many people will say “I forgot my passport, can I use my McGill ID?” or “My Hydro bill and library card worked in the federal election!” but it’s still not going to work, so don’t try it.

Where do I vote?

Polling locations have not been finalized yet, but should be soon. You will receive a reminder card later indicating where to vote, and Election Quebec’s web site will also be updated.

When do I vote?

Polling day is December 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Advance polls are open November 30 and December 1 the same times. Voting at the office of the returning officer is open November 28 to December 4 the times registration is open, except on days with advance polls.

Do I get time off to vote?

McGill has cancelled all its exams on December 8, as required by law; they have been moved to Sunday, December 7. Your employers are required to give you four consecutive hours off while polls are open on December 8, not counting meal breaks, but they can choose which four hours, meaning if you work 9 to 5, most employers will let you leave at 4 p.m. They still have to pay you for the work you miss.

Can I work as an election worker?

Most definitely. There are many, many jobs to fill that require no experience or qualifications, pay between $13.28 and $16.40 an hour, and include paid training. To work you must be eligible to vote. Fill out the form on Election Quebec’s web site or call your office of the returning officer.

Can I vote by mail?

The deadline to register to vote by mail was last night, but it is unlikely you would have been eligible anyway, since voting by mail is for those planning to be outside the province.

Who do I vote for?

As if we’re going to tell you! Attend local candidate meetings, read candidate and party web sites, and find out what positions are most important to you. Make sure you don’t ruin your ballot by filling it out incorrectly. If it’s improperly marked, it’s rejected, just like 40,078 ballots were during the last provincial election!