This October, students will get the chance to flex their political muscle and vote for new leaders in Brantford.
The official Election Day falls on October 27, 2014, but according to city officials, advanced voting will be easier than ever this year.
Brantford will be offering online advanced polls, “it’s exciting, it’s the first year we’ve done it,” says Elections Assistant Stephanie Quattrociocchi. Online voting will allow residents the freedom to participate in advanced voting from any location.
Online advanced voting begins October 6th at 10am, and will run until October 17th at 6pm.
Any student residing in Brantford is permitted to vote in the Municipal Election, “Students are unique electors in that, they can vote in their own town, as well as the town they’re attending school,” says Quattrociocchi.
In order to vote, a student’s name must appear on the city’s Voters’ List, if it does not, they can register by completing an Application to Amend the Voters’ List which be found on the city’s website.
In order to register to vote, students must provide valid identification, like a Laurier OneCard, and proof of Brantford address, like a cable bill or official validation of On-Campus residency.
The City of Brantford has been working closely with the Wilfrid Laurier Student’s Union to ensure that the 2014 election is as accessible to students as possible.
On October 6th to 10th, from 9am-4pm, Laurier will host an advanced poll “Voting Lounge” for students in the Research and Academic Centre. “The voting lounge will have computers available, and you can vote from any mobile device,” said Quattrociocchi.
The Municipal Election will allow participants to vote for the Mayor of Brantford, two City-Councilors according to the city Ward in which they live, as well as School Board Trustees.
The city is operating under new Ward boundaries this election, after council passed a by-law in the fall of 2013 to re-divide the existing five wards. According to council, the new ward system has been designed to help preserve communities of interest, and provide more equitable representation.
According to Quattrociocchi, most students attending Laurier-Brantford will now live in what is considered Ward 5, as the Ward’s boundaries now encompass Brantford’s downtown area.
“You’re going to spend four years of your life here, you might as well have a say in things like parking issues or noise bylaw complaints…” says Quattrociocchi, “voting for a councilor who supports your opinion on certain issues determines what Council rolls out in the next four years.”
There are currently six candidates in the running for Mayor, with the nomination period officially coming to a close on September 12.
Currently on the ballot is; Mayor Chris Friel, who is vying for re-election, city councilors Jan Vanderstelt who currently represents Ward-One, and Dave Wrobel who currently represents Ward-Four, as well as Mark Littell, Michael St. Amant, and John Turmel.