WLUSU election plans hit a snag

After Elections Ontario delivered the news that Wilfrid Laurier Students’ Union was not permitted to draft mail for off-campus students to use as proof of residence in the upcoming provincial election, director of policy research and advocacy Chris Hyde and vice president of university affairs Sean Madden worked together to find a solution.

“I think each side thought we were on the right side of the page with what we’re being required, and I guess we got mixed signals between the two of us,” Hyde explained.

“I guess one of the strongest reasons was that we just finished the Government of Canada elections, which have their proof of residence rules, there were a lot of them and it took time to get used to them. Once we were acclimated to those rules, they probably dominated how people look at the elections.”

Elections Ontario forbids WLUSU from drafting mail for students to use as proof of residence in the upcoming provincial elections on Oct. 6, something that WLUSU thought they could offer to students. On-campus students are unaffected as Madden explained.

“Elections Ontario accepted residence rolls [lists of students in a residence] as proof of residence documentation, and so the 3,000 odd students that are in residence are covered,” he said.

Madden added, “It’s many of the same staff that they have hired for both elections so where the federal rules would have allowed something like this, there’s confusion that the provincial rules are the same.”

Madden then explained how Elections Ontario originally supported the idea to draft mail for proof of residence for off-campus students. “I guess [it was] just unclear information in our communications with Elections Ontario,” he said.

Moving forward, Hyde and Madden drafted a poster detailing what is required for students to prove proof of residency. Some listed included lease agreements, utility bills and loan agreements.

Madden added that the websites itsyourvote.ca, elections.on.ca and wemakevotingeasy.ca are all helpful resources to help you get ready to vote.

There are advanced polls taking place in the Concourse Sept. 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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