Voters in the Cree Nation may face significant barriers to voting in this federal election. New legislation that was passed by the federal government in 2014 (The Fair Elections Act) will make it more difficult for some First Nation citizens and residents of Eeyou Istchee to prove their identity when trying to vote on Election Day – Monday, October 19, 2015.
If you are unsure of the new laws, there are solutions.
The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is working in collaboration with Elections Canada to remove some of these new barriers for First Nation voters by providing information and developing tools to assist those who want to participate in the upcoming federal election. The AFN has developed a number of materials designed to help and ensure First Nation voters have the information they need prior to this federal election. All this information can be found at www.afn.ca.
All of this information is intended to be completely non-partisan and respects the right of each First Nation’s citizen to decide whether they want to participate in this federal election and who they want to vote for.
Letter of Confirmation of Residence
• The “Letter of Confirmation” of residence is the best option for First Nation voters who may not have the necessary ID to vote (e.g., a driver’s license). You can use this Letter of Confirmation of Residence as your proof of address along with a second piece of ID (like a Status card) to register and vote in a federal election. If you live on reserve, you can use copy of the following letter and ask the Band administrator or designated Band authority to complete and sign it prior to voting day:
Advance Registration – online or by mail
– Registering ahead of time makes it easier and faster when you go to vote.
– You can register online with a driver’s license or update your information at www.elections.ca .
– You can register by calling Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868.
– You can register at the Polling Station when you go to vote, but registering in advance helps you avoid any possible problems.
• Any government issued ID card with your photo, name and current home address (Driver’s License or Provincial/Territorial ID card); OR
• Two pieces of ID. Both pieces must have your name, and one must also have your current home address.
– Examples of ID with both your name and home address include: a bank statement,
– Note that there is no address on most status cards, health cards, birth certificates, or utility bill or vehicle ownership, passports.
• If you have any questions about voting in the federal election you can phone Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868 or visit www.elections.ca.
– Toll-free number to verify if you are registered or to correct your voter information: 866-209-6483
– First-time or unregistered voters can do so at the registration table during Advance Polls and on Voting Day with proper identification. They may also do so by following instructions from the agent taking their calls at the toll-free number.
October 9 to 12 in; Mistissini, Eastmain, Waskaganish, Chisasibi, and Radisson.
Voting allows you to choose who will best represent you, your community and Nation for the next four years. This election and the changes imposed by the Fair Elections Act do make it harder and this is why we must work harder to ensure the Cree voice and vote is heard.