by Wendy Fraser
Bridge River Lillooet News
Elections Canada has opened an office in Lillooet to serve the northern half of the new Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding.
The office in the former Lillooet Learning Centre at 76 – 5th Ave. will serve Lillooet, Gold Bridge-Bralorne, Seton-Shalalth, Lytton, Spences Bridge, Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Walhachin and points in between.
The office is open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 4.
Additional Assistant Returning Officer (AARO) Tammy Hale is in charge of the local office, which will have a staff of up to 10 people.
Staff includes three special ballot co-ordinators who will handle early voting for national electors and local electors. Voters living in a remote community who come in to Lillooet, for example, to buy groceries two weeks before election day, would also able to vote at the Elections Canada office up until Oct. 13.
Members of the public are also welcome to drop in or call to ensure they’re registered to vote – two revising agents will be in the office at all times to handle questions about registration.
Elections Canada has an online website www.elections.ca where people can check to see if they’re registered and if their address is correct.
Voter registration cards will also be issued starting Sept. 28. If a voter receives a card and realizes it contains wrong information, he/she can make some of the changes online or come in to the office where the staff will ensure the changes are correct and up-to-date.
Youth and others who have never voted before are encouraged to come to the office to register. People with general questions about the election process are also welcome to drop in at the Lillooet office for information.
Advance polls will be held for four days this year – over the Thanksgiving weekend from Oct. 9 to 12. In the northern part of the riding, advance polls will be held at the Lillooet Recreation Centre Gym and at Cache Creek Community Hall in Cache Creek.
On election day, voters can cast their ballots in Lillooet, Lytton, Spences Bridge, Cache Creek, Ashcroft, Walhachin, Gold Bridge and Seton Portage.
To vote in this election, people have to be Canadian citizens and have to be 18 years old on voting day.
Voters have three options to prove their identity and address.
1) show up with either their driver’s licence or provincial or territorial ID card
2) show two pieces of ID, at least one of which must have their current address. These IDs include health card, Canadian passport, birth certificate, certificate of Canadian citizenship, social insurance number card, Indian status card, band membership card, Veterans Affair health card, credit card, debit card, library card, label on a prescription container, government statement of benefits, firearms licence, utility bill, bank statement or credit card statement.
3) If their ID does not have their current address, they can take an oath as long as they have two pieces of ID with their name, and have someone who knows them attest to their address. This person must show proof of identity and address, be registered in the same polling division and attest for only one person.
The phone numbers for the Elections Canada office in Lillooet are: Reception 250-291-0090; Revision 250-291-0091; Special Ballots 250-291-0092; AARO 250-291-0093. The toll-free number is 1-866-754-5482. AARO Tammy Hale’s email is 59017_DAAS1-AARO1@elections.ca .