Canadians are heading to the polls Monday to vote in the 43rd federal election.
Polling stations in the Sudbury and Nickel Belt ridings will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Electors should consult their voter information cards to find their designated polling station and bring with them a government-issued piece of ID to prove their identity and current address.
COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place at all polling stations across the country, and Elections Canada is reminding voters that they should stay home if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
“If anyone is not feeling well, they should get tested for COVID-19 and follow all public health guidelines,” said Rejean Grenier, regional media adviser for Elections Canada.
“If they know they have COVID-19, they should be self-isolating, and if they are self-isolating, then they have no other options,”
Grenier said the deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot was on Sept. 14 at 6 p.m.
“If anyone presents with symptoms between now and Monday, they will have to sit this election out,” he said.
Voting kits were mailed to a total of 2,396 people in the Nickel Belt riding and 2,361 people in the Sudbury riding.
As of Friday, 1,589 voting kits in the Nickel Belt riding and 1,240 voting kits in the Sudbury riding were returned to Elections Canada.
Advanced voting across the country was up 18 per cent compared to last year, said Grenier.
A total of 11,802 voters in the Nickel Belt riding and 9,387 voters in the Sudbury riding turned up at advanced polling stations from Sept. 10 to Sept. 13.
Voters are reminded to wear a mask or a face covering to the polling station on Monday.
“All of our staff will be wearing face coverings, as mandated by the Ontario government. Many of them will be wearing gloves and will be seated behind plexiglass dividers,” said Grenier.
“We will also have hand sanitizer available for voters, and staff will be cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces regularly.”
Elections Canada will provide single-use pencils, and voters can bring their own pen or pencil to mark their ballot.
Everyone is encouraged to practise physical distancing by staying at least two metres or six feet away from other voters and poll workers.
Public Health Sudbury and Districts reported a potential low-risk exposure to COVID-19 at a federal polling station in Sudbury on Sept. 10, but Grenier said that’s the only potential exposure he is aware of in this region.
“Elections Canada will be following all public health measures to ensure the safety of voters across the country,” said Grenier.
To vote, electors should bring their voter information card as well as a piece of government-issued ID to their designated polling station.
A driver’s license or another piece of identification that displays a current address will be accepted.
Those who do not have a driver’s license (or another piece of ID displaying a current address) can bring one piece of ID to prove their identity and another piece displaying a current address.
For example, a voter can bring their voter information card and a bank statement, utility bill, or student ID.
Voters should check the Elections Canada website for a full list of accepted documents.
If you do not have identification, you can still vote if you declare your identity and address in writing and have someone who knows you and who is assigned to your polling station vouch for you.
The voucher must be able to prove their identity and address. A person can vouch for only one person (except in long-term care facilities).
For more information visit www.electionscanada.ca.
Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star