As voter identification cards for the 2011 provincial election were sent out in the mail Monday, advance polls start today, Sept. 21, at two locations in South Muskoka.
Advance polls start today, Sept. 21, and continue for 10 days until Sept. 30
In Bracebridge at Bracebridge Memorial Arena at 169 James St. and in Gravenhurst at Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre at 275 Steamship Bay Rd., advance polls continue for 10 days until Sept. 30. Both locations are open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., including Sundays.
Advance polls are also available in Parry Sound and Huntsville. Registered voters can vote at any advance poll in the riding with their notice of registration card or identification that includes their name and address.
Special ballots are also available. This method of voting allows eligible electors to cast a ballot in person or by mail during the 28-day election period. This means that even if electors are unable to go to the polls on election day or stop by one of the advance polls in their area, they can still cast a ballot for the candidate of their choice.
Special ballot applications can be downloaded or picked up at the returning office in Huntsville at 15 Manominee St. An application can also be sent to electors by mail, email or fax and are available now.
You can vote in person by special ballot at your local returning office until 6 p.m. on Oct. 5.
Electors who wish to vote by mail must send a completed Special Ballot Application Package, along with a copy of one piece of identification that includes both their name and residential address to the local returning office or Elections Ontario.
If you are temporarily living outside Ontario, you can apply to vote by special ballot and also apply to be included on the Register of Absentee Electors list, subject to certain conditions.
Scan your application and identification document and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. or fax your application and identification document to the attention of Special Ballot at Elections Ontario. Your application and identification must be received no later than 6 p.m. local time on Sept. 30.
Once approved, your name is crossed off the List of Electors, indicating that you have voted by special ballot. This means that you are no longer eligible to vote in person at an advance poll or on election day. You will then be sent a Special Ballot Kit, which includes detailed voting instructions, a write-in special ballot, a secrecy envelope, an elector confirmation envelope and a return envelope.
If you’re unable to leave your home, you may be eligible to request a home visit by telephone, email or fax through the returning office. Home visits will take place until Oct. 5. Eligible electors can ask to vote by special ballot at home if it is impossible or unreasonably difficult to get to the local returning office.
There is also help out there for those who are severely challenged by a disability or the inability to read or write. There is specialized equipment at the Huntsville returning office to make voting easier.
“We strongly encourage those with significant disabilities, if they can travel, to come to our office and it will be a better experience for them,” said Mike Greaves, election clerk. “We’re doing everything we can to make voting accessible to everybody.”
Special ballots can be picked up from the returning officer or you can apply online at wemakevotingeasy.ca. Once you have the special ballot forms you can mail them in up until Election Day on Oct. 6.
Elector’s notice of registration cards have been mailed out and detail the name and address of the advance poll locations, as well as your election day voting location.
For information about voting options visit wemakevotingeasy.ca or call the Returning Office at 1-866-532-3169.