Saturday, October 28, 2006

Am I on the Voter's List?

In September I received a letter from the Deputy Clerk for the Town of Aurora. The letter mentioned, at great length, mentioned that I was not confirmed to be a Canadian citizen or a resident of Aurora. Thus, I was not on the voters list for the upcoming municipal election in Aurora.

I thought to myself, how weird, with the exception of my time in Ottawa and New York, I've always lived in Aurora, how could I not be a Canadian citizen?

Also on the letter it stated that I could sign the declaration stating:

I declare that I am a Canadian citizen, that I have attained the age of eighteen years on or before voting day, and that I am entitled to be an elector in the Town of Aurora.

and present the above declaration at the Town Clerk's office in person.

Now it makes no mention that the Town Hall offices are only staffed between 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. Monday to Friday. Considering this how am I supposed to ensure that my name is on the voters list considering I work during those hours? Am I to take the financial hit in order to ensure my name is on the voters list? It seems like an odd thing to have to endure just to ensure my right to vote.

So I figured, as advertised in the newspaper, that I could just bring my passport and proof of tennancy in Aurora (i.e. Hydro Bill and Apartment contract) to the local poll in order to vote in this upcoming municipal election. I take voting quite seriously and do my research via candidate websites, debates and press coverage in order to vote for the best candidate. So I was prepared to not have my name on the voters list and figured I would have no problem as I was following the instructions the Town Clerk's Department had advertised in the local media if a person's name was not on the voter's list.

Earlier this month, I was puzzled when I checked my mailbox to find a voter card with my name on it with my apartment address on it. The card indicates all I have to do is prove who I am and then I can vote. Considering I have made no action myself to convince the Town Clerk's Department that I am in fact a tenant in Aurora and a Canadian citizen, this voter card continues to puzzle me.

On one hand I have a letter stating I need to prove my Canadian citizenship and Aurora tenancy. On the other hand I have a voter card stating I can vote at a certain polling station on November 13th. So am I or am I not on the voter's list.

I went online to investigate if I was on the voters list. On the Town of Aurora's website there is an "Online Voter Lookup" page in the Elections 2006 section. On this page I filled in my name and address and pressed the "submit" button. No entries were found. I tried my first initial and my last name and address and nothing happenned.

I figure since the page doesn't have a space for apartment numbers, my name will not show. Considering there are over twenty units in the building I live in, there are probably more than five voters in this building who are on the voters list. So perhaps next time the Clerk's Department might want to add a apartment number space for a case like my own. Then I might find my name.

But this still leaves me with a question:

"AM I ON THE VOTERS LIST?"

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