Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Proof of Residency

I voted in the Ontario election today.

Does this mean I'm officially an Ontarion?

Well, according to Elections Canada, apparently not. Not only did they fail to send me a voter registration card, despite the fact that I registered to vote over a month ago, they also didn't bother to put me on the voter list. It turns out that being an Albertan trying to vote in Ontario is more complicated than trying to get into a bar in London with an out-of-province ID. (Which trust me, is a near impossible feat.)

"Do you have any proof of residency?"

"Well, I just moved, so this is the only piece of mail I've recieved," I said, handing over a letter from the university. Well, the only piece of mail that doesn't have my mom's handwriting on the envelope.

"Usually we won't accept this. Don't you have a bank statement or ID card or phone bill?"

"No. I just moved."

"How about ID?" I handed over my Alberta driver's liscense.

"What's this?" the woman asked me, confused. "What does operator's liscense mean?

"It's my driver's liscense. I don't have Ontario identification."

"So, what kind of liscense?"

"My driver's liscense." I know perfectly well she was trying to get me to say G1 or G2 or G19 or however the hell the liscensing system here works, which I still have yet to figure it, but I chose to ignore her question.

"Okay," she said, brow furrowed, trying to figure out what to put in the little G_ box.

And so on and so on.

All in all, it took me nearly 40 minutes to convince the poll workers that they should let me perform my civic duty. (It also took me 40 minutes to conclude that it would be soooo easy to scam the poll people into letting me vote multiple times. After this incident, and that one time Elections Canada sent me a voter card for the federal election when I was only 16, my faith in the electoral system, MMP or not, is weakening.)


  1. Anonymous6:34 PM

    That sucks. I also voted but chose to not show my BC driver's license for that very reason. Passport + Roger's Bill = civic duty fulfilled. If it makes you feel better, Jesse went to vote and according to their list, his house didn't exist.

  2. Yah, my house didn't exist on the list either. And my passport is getting renewed, so it's either with government officials at this very moment or was lost by Canada Post. One of the above. (And as Canice pointed out, what about those of us who sign up for paperless billing?)

  3. I could be wrong here, but since you're a student in Ontario, you're not actually an Ontario resident by the government's definition. You're still an Alberta resident that lives on Ontario. That being the case, what are you doing voting in the Ontario election in the first place?

    I'm probably as confused as the poll person. And probably misinformed in some respect.

  4. I was confused too. I also thought I couldn't vote, since I'm technically an Albertan resident until November of 2008 (unless of course, I decide not to remain here). But they registration people allowed me to register so. . .I wouldn't have even voted if it wasn't for the referendum. I didn't really care about the provincial vote. I just cared about Mixed Member Proportional vs. First Past the Post.

  5. And what was your opinion on MMP?

  6. The impression that the election website gave me was that you just needed to bring in your ID and proof of residence (mail). Which is what I did, despite only having four months of non-student Ontario residence under my belt.

    As far as I could tell you could have moved here yesterday and as long as you had a piece of mail with your name on it you could vote.