Québec, November 5, 2008 – Marcel Blanchet, Chief Electoral Officer of Québec, would like to remind electors that various options are available to them to exercise their right to vote, in preparation for the December 8th general election. Mr. Blanchet also wishes to recall that one of the prerequisites to be able to exercise their right to vote is to be entered on the list of electors. Electors will thus be able to vote on polling day or take advantage of advance polling. Electors who are temporarily absent from Québec and who would like to exercise their right to vote must satisfy the stipulated formalities.
"Exercising their right to vote is the first step that electors should take to participate in our democracy, a step that allows them to express themselves and have an impact, " recalled Mr. Blanchet. "I therefore invite the 5.7 million electors of Québec to show an interest in the debates that will be held during the election period and to take advantage of the privilege they have to be able to go vote."
Entry on the list of electors
A person can be entered on the list of electors if he or she is a qualified elector, i.e., if, on polling day, he or she is 18 years old, is a Canadian citizen and has been domiciled in Québec for at least six months or, in the case of an elector who would like to vote outside Québec, if he or she has been domiciled in Québec for 12 months before his or her date of departure. In addition, the person must not be under curatorship or be disqualified from voting.
Every elector is responsible for ensuring that his or her name appears on the list of electors, and that it is entered correctly. For this purpose, a notice of entry will be sent to every address of Québec. This notice contains information about electors who are registered at that address or mentions, where applicable, that no elector is entered there.
It is therefore very important to examine this notice and to keep it, since it also contains other important information for the exercise of your right to vote.
It is during the revision period which starts on November 17th that electors can submit an application for entry on, correction to or striking off the list of electors. In addition to the regular boards of revisors which will receive electors up until November 25th, mobile boards of revisors will visit certain healthcare facilities and retirement homes identified in the register of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. They can also go to the domicile of electors who are unable to move about for health reasons. In some electoral divisions with large territories, boards of revisors will be open in some communities during the revision period on the days and at the times determined by the returning officer.
Advance polling will take place on Sunday, November 30th and Monday, December 1st, from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Electors who would like to take advantage of this poll must remember that fewer polling stations are available for advance polling than on polling day and that it is possible that there will be some waiting involved. Experience from past elections has also shown that this waiting is more likely to occur when advance polling stations open.
Advance polling will be held in the healthcare facilities and retirement homes identified in the register of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.
Access to voting will also be facilitated for electors who are unable to move about for health reasons, since they will be able to take part in advance polling at their domicile. These people will have to submit the appropriate application to the returning officer of their electoral division by no later than this November 24th. Voting will take place on November 28th and 29th, as well as on December 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
Voting at the office of the returning officer
For the very first time in a general election, it will be possible for all electors to vote at the office of the returning officer of their electoral division or at the secondary offices set up in the electoral division. Five days of voting will thus be added to those of advance polling, namely November 28th and 29th, as well as December 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
Voting on polling day (regular voting)
Polling stations will receive electors from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on December 8th.
As has now become a well-established practice, electors will have to identify themselves in order to exercise their right to vote. It will be possible to do so by presenting one of the following documents:
• Québec health insurance card;
• Driver’s licence;
• Canadian passport;
• Certificate of Indian Status; or
• Canadian Armed Forces ID.
Voting by electors temporarily absent from Québec
Qualified Québec electors who are currently outside Québec can benefit from voting by mail if, at the time of their departure, they had been domiciled in Québec for at least 12 months.
This measure is intended for electors who have left Québec temporarily for two years or less and who intend to return to Québec. This time period does not apply to those who have been posted outside Québec while working for the Government of Québec, the Government of Canada or an international organization covered by the legislation. Nor does it apply to their spouse or dependents, if the latter are qualified electors.
Electors who are temporarily absent from Québec will be able to vote by mail for a candidate of the electoral division in which they are domiciled. To vote, they must first have completed the registration form and have returned it to the Chief Electoral Officer by the stipulated deadline. Qualified electors will then receive a ballot paper at their address outside Québec as well as all the information required to vote.
It should be noted that given the relatively short duration of the election period, electors have only a few days to register for voting by mail. Thus, for the current elections, registration forms for voting outside Québec must be received at our office, duly completed and with the required documents, by no later than midnight on November 19th. It is thus necessary to act quickly.
To learn more…
For more information on exercising your right to vote, you can consult the Website of the Chief Electoral Officer at the following address: www.electionsquebec.qc.ca
Information can also be obtained from the Information Centre of the Chief Electoral Officer on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on weekends from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. These extended hours will go into effect starting today and will continue throughout the election period. All requests for documents can also be addressed to the Information Centre.
To reach the Information Centre:
By telephone: 418-528-0422 – Québec City region
1 888 ELECTION (1 888 353-2846) – outside Québec City
1 800 537-0644 (for the hearing impaired)
By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org