Who can Vote?
You can vote if you are a Canadian citizen, you are over the age of 18, and you either live in or rent/own property in Peterborough. You also cannot be prohibited from voting, but that’s pretty obvious.
Unlike any other election, you can actually vote in multiple municipalities if your principal residence is in one and your renting address is in another. For instance, most students still list their principal address as their parent’s address. Wherever that happens to be, you can vote there! However, you cannot vote in multiple wards in the same city. So if your family is from East City but you’re living in a downtown apartment, you’ve got to choose one or the other.
How to Register
Assuming you aren’t already on the Voters List (you can find out if you are on Peterborough’s website), and you haven’t received a Notice of Registration Card, then you will need to register.
You can actually do it entirely online. Simply go to the “Update Your Voter Information” page on Peterborough’s website and complete the form. You’ll have to fill out a short contact form and attach a scanned copy of valid identification showing your name and address.
All you have to do is wait for city staff to review and verify your information. They’ll email you with your Voter ID Number and Information Sheet.
You can also do the very same thing in person at the City Clerk’s Office.
If you’re a real late bloomer and it slipped your mind until Election Day that’s not a problem. Just show up at any Voting Location with ID showing proof of your name and qualifying address.
What is Valid Identification?
The Peterborough website lists 29 separate documents as valid ID. If your address is listed on your driver’s license or health card you can use that.
That’s rarely the case for students. Instead, you can use a bill, a credit card statement, a bank account statement, a pay stub, a transcript from a post-secondary school, your lease agreement, a cancelled personal cheque, and many more. The whole list is available online.
Who Do I Get to Vote For?
Who you can vote for depends on where you live in the city, but everyone gets to vote for one mayor, two councillors in their ward, and either one or two School Board Trustees. It’s too hard to describe in writing the boundaries of each ward, but there are all sorts of maps at your disposal, like the one at the bottom of this page. Or give the city a call and ask!
Here are some profiles of the mayoral candidates, as well as the councillor candidates in Town, Ashburnham, and Northcrest Wards.
How To Vote…
Voting on Election Day
If you registered in advance and have your Voter Notification Card, literally show up to any poll in the city with your Card and Valid ID and you can vote. Voting locations are listed on Peterborough’s website.
If you haven’t registered by Election Day, you can still show up at a poll with a valid ID and vote. There will be some paperwork to fill out though.
In order to vote online there is a separate registration process you must complete in addition to the one above. Once you receive your Voter Notification Card, and after October 14 at midnight, you can go to the city’s website and register.
On your Voter Notification Card there will be an Elector ID number which you will need to enter. The site will generate a username and a password for you. That, along with directions on how to vote, will be emailed to you. Then simply vote whenever you feel like it! You can literally vote while naked. Online voting opens Tuesday October 14 at midnight and closes on voting day, Monday October 27, at 8pm. The registration period ends one hour earlier that day at 7pm.
Advance Voting Day is Saturday October 18. There is at least one voting location in each ward, which you can find on the Peterborough website (bottom of the page).
On Election Day you can go to St. Paul’s Church, 120 Murray St, from 10am – 8pm if you require an accessible voting location with assistive devices. You can also vote at City Hall, 500 George St N, weekdays between October 14 and 24 anytime between 9am and 4pm.
You can proxy your vote to another eligible elector in the City of Peterborough. Your proxy must go to the City Clerk’s Office and apply to do so by filling out a form, along with providing copies of both your and their Valid ID.