Voting in the English school board elections? Make sure you're registered
If you're planning to vote in the school board elections in November, now's the time to make sure you're on the right voting list.
Many people who want to vote for English school board commissioners in their community are registered on the French school board voting list by default.
“It has been our experience, I can tell you that the last election, we had people on the actual day of the election come to the voting station thinking that they were on the list and they were not. There were quite a few surprises; people were disappointed,” said Angela Mancini, chair of the English Montreal School Board.
Quebec election laws stipulate that every person who wants to vote is registered on the French school board list by default, unless they have a child who's currently in the English school system.
Parents who have children that finished secondary five have been taken off the English list if they have no other children left in the system.
There is a variety of variables that puts voters back onto the French list, so it is important to ask for a switch if desired.
The same applies for first-time voters, explained Suanne Stein-Day, chair of the Lester B. Pearson School Board.
“Once you turn 18, no matter what school you graduated from, you get put on the French list, so first-time voters have to request to be put on the English lists,” she said.
School boards said they're trying to raise awareness about the elections and what it takes to be eligible to vote.
It's as simple as filling out a form.
“Every school board probably this time of year on their front (web) page has a link to election data, and they have a form that any member of the community can fill out and they can bring it to the school board in their area,” said Stein-Day.
School boards are also reaching out to people who don't have children at all.
“We represent taxpayers really so I think it's important that people understand it's not just parents we represent, but certainly everyone should be going out there to vote because we are talking about using public funds,” said Mancini.
Elections are on Nov. 2.
For information on voting in the English Montreal School Board Elections, click here
For information on voting in the Lester B. Pearson School Board Elections, click here
For other English school boards in Quebec, click here