It’s not exactly news that Stephen Harper and his merry band are willing to cut a few corners when it comes to getting democratically elected. It’s also probably not news that the party that has been found guilty on several occasions of major financial shenanigans when it comes to advertisements and campaigning has also found a way to potentially disenfranchise two voter blocks that are most likely to swing to the NDP or Liberals – natives and the young.
New rules put in place are designed to fix the “problem” of people voting with only a voter card, having been ‘vouched for’ by a neighbour or relative. Starting with the anticipated election this coming fall, all voters will have to provide identification that proves not only the name of the voter, but also their address. In the past, the voter card was considered enough to meet address requirement.
Having been a university student who traveled to another city to attend school, I know that the address requirement can be potentially difficult to prove – picture identification like passports or driver’s licenses are likely to show home addresses, not their current one. New regulations found here require that all voters provide one piece of photo identification with the current voting address. Lacking that, the voter can opt to provide an ID with their name and an additional piece of identification with name and address. Included in the list of valid IDs containing the address include utility bills with name and address, personal cheques with address, or income tax assessments.
Please make sure that you can meet these criteria before you head to the polls. I’d bring a few pieces of backup ID just in case something gets rejected for *any* reason.