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The Jewish guide to advance voting

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With the upcoming federal election falling on the holiday of Shemini Atzeret, Jewish organizations and Elections Canada have compiled resources specifically designed to educate voters about how they can cast their ballots outside of Jewish holidays, and to educate the Jewish community about election issues.

From Elections Canada:

The 2019 federal general election day, currently scheduled for Oct. 21, and some of the advance polling days, coincide with Jewish holidays. Voters observing Jewish holidays may be unable to cast a ballot on the following dates:

  • Saturday, Oct. 12
  • Monday, Oct. 14
  • Tuesday, Oct. 15
  • Monday, Oct. 21

Voters observing Jewish holidays will be able to vote as follows:

  • from the date the election is called
    • special ballot by mail
    • Elections Canada office
  • from Sunday, Oct. 6 to Tuesday, Oct. 8
    • special ballot by mail
    • Elections Canada office
    • vote on Campus
  • Thursday, Oct. 10
    • special ballot by mail
    • Elections Canada office
    • Elections Canada voting kiosks
  • Friday, Oct. 11 before sunset
    • advance polling stations
    • special ballot by mail
    • Elections Canada office
  • Saturday, Oct. 12 after sunset
    • advance polling stations
    • special ballot by mail
    • Elections Canada office
  • Sunday, Oct. 13 before sunset
    • advance polling stations
    • special ballot by mail
    • Elections Canada office
  • Wednesday, Oct. 16 and Thursday, Oct. 17
    • special ballot by mail
    • Elections Canada office
  • Friday, Oct. 18 before sunset
    • special ballot by mail
    • Elections Canada office
  • Sunday, Oct. 20 before sunset
    • special ballot by mail
    • Elections Canada office

Vote by mail

To vote by mail during the election, apply online or at any Elections Canada office across Canada before Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. Once registered, you will receive a special ballot kit with instructions on how to submit your ballot by mail.

Vote at an Elections Canada office

Over 500 Elections Canada offices will be open across Canada. Vote at any one of them before Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. You will vote using the special ballot voting process.

Vote at advance polls

Your assigned polling station will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday the week before election day.

Vote at Elections Canada voting kiosks

Elections Canada voting kiosks are being planned, in consultation with Jewish community leaders, as an additional voting opportunity. The voting kiosks will be arranged on or around Oct. 10. This will provide additional services for voters observing Jewish holidays on the fixed election date.  Any elector can register and vote by special ballot at these locations.

Vote on campus

Elections Canada offices will be open on approximately 115 post-secondary campuses across the country for five days about two weeks before election day (Oct. 5-9). On-campus voting offices will be open:

  • Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Additional Service Points

Elections Canada announced recently that it will be setting up additional service points (ASPs) to provide more voting options for Jewish people who would have had difficulty finding time to vote in the available times and locations. Elections Canada selected the new ASPs after consulting with Jewish community leaders to find times and locations that made sense for their communities. According to the website, anyone can vote at an ASP by special ballot on select dates across the country. All you need to do is bring ID to vote.

Special ballots are different than regular ballots. There is no list of candidates, only a blank space to write in a name. Make sure to bring a voter information card and piece of accepted ID.

For information on ASPs near you, candidates in your riding and accepted forms of ID, visit elections.ca.

So far ASPs are only available in Toronto, but ASPs will be available in Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver as well, with more to be confirmed.

Confirmed ASPs:

Toronto area:

Beth Avraham Yoseph Synagogue: 613 Clark Avenue West, Thornhill L4J 5V3

  • Sunday Oct. 6th: 10 a.m.—8 p.m.
  • Thursday Oct. 10th: 10 a.m.—8 p.m.

Beth David B’nai Israel Beth Am: 55 Yeomans Road, Toronto M3H 3J7

  • Sunday Oct. 6th: 10 a.m.—8 p.m.
  • Thursday Oct. 10th: 10 a.m.—8 p.m.

Adath Israel Congregation: 37 Southbourne Avenue, Toronto M3H 3J7

  • Sunday Oct. 6th: 10 a.m.—8 p.m.
  • Thursday Oct. 10th: 10 a.m.—8 p.m.

Bernard Betel Centre: 1003 Steeles Avenue West, Toronto M2R 3T6

  • Monday Oct. 7th: 10 a.m.—8 p.m.

Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue: 100 Elder Street, Toronto M3H 5G7

  • Sunday Oct. 6th: 10 a.m.—8 p.m.
  • Thursday Oct. 10th: 10 a.m.—8 p.m.

Elections Canada also offers voting guides in Hebrew and Yiddish.

From the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA):

CIJA has created an election hub website. The hub includes:

Additionally, CIJA has created an issues guide for the federal election and, with the
Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee, has organized events called “The Federal Election, the Jewish Community and You!” with events so far scheduled in:

From B’nai Brith Canada:

B’nai Brith Canada has created an election centre website. The election centre includes:

  • Information on how to vote
  • An election guide
  • Discussion of where the parties’ positions (coming soon)
  • Information on the debates B’nai Brith is hosting

The debates are free and open to the public at venues across the country. The details are as follows:

Eglinton Lawrence riding
Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 7:00 p.m.
Beth Torah Congregation, 47 Glennbrook Ave., Toronto

Thornhill riding
Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto (BAYT), 613 Clark Ave. West, Thornhill, Ont.

Mount Royal riding
Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8:00 p.m.
The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, 4894 Avenue St. Kevin, Montreal

Edmonton West riding
Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Beth Israel Synagogue, 131 Wolf Willow Rd. NW, Edmonton

York Centre
Thursday, Oct. 17 at 7:00 p.m.
Beth David Synagogue, 55 Yeomans Rd., Toronto

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