Voting for your Future, Student Accommodations

By Aaliyan Jabbar, OPIRG McMaster

It’s not easy being a student; on top of being a student, you have to be an active citizen of your community and country.  As citizens of Canada, we have an obligation to participate in voting for who we want to represent us.  At the same time, we vote for those who will run for office and serve us best.  This is more than just an obligation, it is your duty because it affects you more than you know.  It’s not easy though, is it?  Focusing on school, trying to be active in the community, spending time with your family and, on top of all that, having to worry about who is best for the position in government.  Having to do your own research is also a pain.  Rejoice, for I will let you know more about voting and the most convenient locations for voting as students for this upcoming municipal election.

Why should I vote? 

After and during COVID-19, think about what kind of community/environment you want to live in.  You have been given the right to shape Hamilton into the city you envision it to be.

Before I tell you where you can vote, it’s important to discuss why you should.  It’s a huge privilege to have the right to vote.  Throughout history, many people were unable to choose their leaders.  Citizens often had no choice but to follow their leader’s corrupt decisions.  To this day, there are still countries that run with a dictatorship.  However, Canada isn’t one of them.  You have the right to vote for whoever you think is best suited to a certain position.  Moving on, our focus is the municipal government.  How do you want to shape Hamilton for the future?  Our lives can be significantly improved but everyone has to contribute.  After and during COVID-19, think about what kind of community/environment you want to live in.  You have been given the right to shape Hamilton into the city you envision it to be.  Voting can allow your voice to be heard, regardless of what other people think of it.  As an example, as students, you spend the majority of your day in libraries.  For this reason, you could want bigger, safer and cleaner libraries.  Do not take this voting privilege for granted.  You have a say in your future while many can only pray for theirs. 

Furthermore, the municipality has a lot of power in our public spaces.  They can provide sustainable environments for much of our stay in Hamilton.  Additionally, the municipality can garner Hamilton more attention by making Hamilton a healthy and safe place that everyone wants to be a part of.  This would increase the number of people that want to join our community, thereby, boosting our economy.  Your vote has the ability to change a lot of things for this city.  It’s all about looking into the future.  Ask yourself this question, would I want my kids to be born and raised here?  Vote for someone who holds the power to make the changes that you want to see, you have the power. 

What do I need to vote?

I should make it very clear that you can’t just show up and place your vote.  There are certain things required of you.  Here are the three options you can choose from to cast your vote: 

  1. Bring identification that includes your picture, full name, and the address of your residence. For students, the most convenient identification is your driver’s licence.
  2. You can bring two different IDs that have all the information mentioned above.  Both items must have your full name listed.  For students, you can use your student ID and a utility bill, for example. 
  3. Finally, you can have someone assigned to your polling place vouch for you. They must confirm your name and address, and you will then write down their name as your ID. 

Where can I vote?

As of right now, there is no news of being able to vote on-campus. However, it stands to reason that students who live on-campus will have access to a voting station on campus. For those registered to vote in Hamilton, or any other city, you will receive an email with your assigned voting location. For those who are not registered, you can register at voterlookup.ca, or go to the nearest polling location and register in-person. Unfortunately, there isn’t a polling place that is accessible to everyone, such as an online voting platform. It all depends on where you are registered to vote. For now, the best and only place you can vote is the polling place that has been assigned to you through your email or the location closest to you if you aren’t registered. 

Remember that your vote makes a difference. You have a say in your future! Take 10 minutes of your time to go and vote; make it count! Your life will still be there to greet you when you come back.

Voter Lookup Site