QuébecCity,March 27, 2014– Schools in Québec attended by student electors are about to experience a “democratic first”, as on-campus voting begins tomorrow for the general election of April 7 next. This new measure has been put in place in universities, CEGEPs, colleges and vocational training centres that have at least 300 student electors. According to the Chief Electoral Officer’s estimates, more than 400,000 students will be able to take advantage of the new measure, since more than 300 polling stations will be opened in roughly 175 educational institutions.
On-campus voting will be available tomorrow (March 28), April 1 and April 2, and April 3 until2:00 p.m.In principle, polling stations will be open from9:00 a.m.to9:00 p.m.on March 28 and April 1 and 2, but the schedule may vary depending on the opening times of specific institutions. Full details are available in the campus-specific information circulated at each institution.
On-campus voting is available to students attending the institutions concerned. To be eligible, a student must be enrolled at the institution on a full-time or part-time basis. Students will not be required to produce evidence of student status, but will be required, like all other electors, to prove their identity by presenting one of the five identity documents accepted for all types of voting during the general election.
The returning officers for the institutions in which this type of voting is available have deployed a considerable amount of resources to manage the flow of voters at the polling stations. However, as is the case for all types of voting, it may be necessary to wait if large numbers of students arrive at the polling station at the same time. The fact that the polling stations in most institutions will be open for 12 hours per day (except April 3) should help spread attendance.
During on-campus voting, students will vote for candidates standing for election in the electoral ridings in which they are domiciled, which may not necessarily be located near to the place at which they are studying.
As well as finding polling stations on the premises of their educational institutions, students may apply to the board of revisors to have their names entered on the list of electors, or to correct information concerning them on the list. In the case of entry on the list, they will have to prove to the board that they have in fact been domiciled in Québec for at least six months. The core aspect of the notion of domicile is the “intention to be domiciled”, which must be proved to the satisfaction of the board of revisors through concrete actions and behaviours that clearly show the person to be an active participant in civic life in Québec. The documents that provide the best evidence of domicile are a Québec income tax return, a Québec health insurance card, a Québec driver’s licence and any other evidence issued by a Québec government authority. Other evidence of domicile may, however, be submitted to the board of revisors. For further information on this issue, please see the Chief Electoral Officer’s Website at: http://monvote.qc.ca/en/edv_conditions.asp.
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