A mail-in ballot for the 2021 federal election. The last day to request a mail-in ballot is on Sept. 14, 2021, and Elections Canada must receive it by election day on Sept. 20, 2021. (Black Press Media files)

A mail-in ballot for the 2021 federal election. The last day to request a mail-in ballot is on Sept. 14, 2021, and Elections Canada must receive it by election day on Sept. 20, 2021. (Black Press Media files)

Our View: Plenty of ways to exercise right and duty to vote

Advance, by mail, or in person on Sept. 20 are all options

Voting is a right in Canada – if you’re a citizen and 18 or older, you can cast a ballot, and it’s about as simple as that.

It’s also a right that Elections Canada tries to make as simple to exercise as possible.

If you’re casting a ballot in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows for this election, you can do so on Monday, Sept. 20, general election day, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Check your voter’s card for your polling place!

But you also have options for mail-in ballots, as well as four days worth of early voting opportunities.

From today (Friday, Sept. 10) to Monday, Sept. 13, early voting will be held in the local riding.

The address of your advance polling place should also be on the voter card you received in the mail, and advance polls are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Given that there are those who haven’t been vaccinated or can’t be vaccinated, or who are caring for unvaccinated children or folks with compromised immune systems, standing in a community hall with a bunch of strangers may not be the most appealing option.

For those who don’t want to vote in person at all, there is a vote-by-mail option. Elections Canada is expecting a record number of federal mail ballots in this election.

Vote by mail instructions should be on your voter card, as well.

If you didn’t get a voter information card, you can call the local Elections Canada office for the region. It’s located at #10-22441 Dewdney Trunk Rd., and you can phone the office at 1-866-546-7614.

READ ALSO: Vaccine Politics – Will COVID-19 affect the outcome of the federal election in B.C.

You can also cast a ballot at the Elections Canada office, if none of the other options appeal to you – although you have to do that before 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14.

One of the best things about Canadian elections is the fact that Elections Canada’s goal is to ensure a fair vote while encouraging maximum participation.

If you have questions about getting the right ID, about getting registered to vote, about how a loved on in hospital or long-term care can cast a ballot, visit elections.ca.

In Canada, you can vote if you’re in prison, if you’re homeless, if you’re in hospital, if you’re attending university, if you’re working outside the country, at a distant work camp, or serving in the armed forces here or overseas.

You can vote if you’re 88 and you first cast a ballot for Diefenbaker or if you’re 18 and you’ve never heard of Diefenbaker, but you know who you want to vote for in 2021.

Remember – it isn’t that hard, so you really don’t have an excuse not to mark a ballot.

Canada Election 2021maple ridgePitt Meadowsvoting