York residents can vote at polling stations in TEL Building

Elections Canada announced last week it will again operate four polling stations for the federal election on York’s Keele campus, as it has in past years, to serve the community’s almost 5,000 residents.

The four polling stations will be located in the TEL Building as they were in 2004, allowing eligible students and residents in York’s 13 campus residences and the Harry Sherman Crowe Co-op to vote for candidates in the riding of York West on Jan. 23. The polls will also serve residents of the Tribute Homes community living north of Murray Ross Parkway.

Voters can get a first-hand look at the candidates during a Town Hall meeting organized by the York Federation of Students on Tuesday, 1pm, in the Underground. Candidates for the riding of York West in this election are, from leftNick Capra (Green Party of Canada), Axcel Cocon (Independent-no photo), Parm Gill (Conservative Party of Canada), Sandra Romano Anthony (New Democratic Party), Judy Sgro  (Liberal Party of Canada).

The candidates have also been invited to a dinner and discussion event at Founders College, hosted by the Founders Student Council, on Wednesday at 6pm.

Deborah Hahn, senior manager of Hospitality York, said an earlier decision by local Elections Canada officials to locate the polls elsewhere came as a surprise departure from past practice and initial indications that the polling stations would be set up again on campus as they were for the June 2004 vote.

Hahn said the change in plans came as a complete surprise. “We received a voice-message before the holidays indicating the polling location was being requested as in the past,” Hahn said. “Then, when we didn’t hear from them early in the New Year,” we inquired and found out they were considering a change.

When the University learned last week that students had been told the polling stations were being located elsewhere, York President & Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden wrote to Elections Canada officials asking them to reconsider their decision.

With the decision to relocate the polls coming so close to the vote, Elections Canada has asked for York’s assistance in notifying the community about the polls and will re-distribute election notices to campus residents this week indicating the location of the polling stations in the first-floor lobby of the TEL Building.

In addition, members of the Elections Canada Community Relations Office for Youth are operating an information kiosk on campus this week. The kiosk will be located in Central Square on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and in York Lanes on Tuesday and Thursday.

The four polls covering the area in and around the Keele campus will be open from 9:30am to 9:30pm on Jan. 23.

For more information, visit the Elections Canada Web site: www.elections.ca.