Your Guide to Election 2011
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Your Guide to Election 2011

Each party’s key messages, according their respective colours. Image by Michael Chrisman/Torontoist.

Election day has arrived, and with it a whirlwind of last-minute pitches by candidates, pundits prognosticating, and—as few anticipated just five weeks ago—a great deal of uncertainty as to the outcome.
Amidst all that frenzy and rhetoric, the annoying commercials and the eye-rollingly trite soundbites, is this: voting matters. It is the most fundamental mechanism we have for participating in civic life, and to that extent it is not just a privilege but a responsibility to cast a ballot, and to care about its consequences. So please, no matter who you vote for, head on over to your polling station today.
Some key voting information:

  • Voting hours: In Ontario, polls will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Voter registration: You do not need to be pre-registered in order to vote. You can register today, at your polling place, by showing up with the proper identification.
  • Polling stations: If you did not receive a voter information card or are otherwise unsure of where to cast your ballot, enter your address here and find out where to go.
  • Voter identification: To vote, you must prove both your identity and your address when you arrive at your polling station. Option 1: One government-issued piece of photo identification which shows your current address (e.g. a driver’s license or photo Health Card). Option 2: Two pieces of authorized identification, both of which have your name, and one of which shows your current address—i.e. in case you have moved since your last Health Card was issued (e.g. a birth certificate/library card/credit card/student i.d. *plus* a utility bill/credit card bill/letter from the government). Option 3: Have someone eligible to vote at your polling station vouch for you and take an oath (e.g. a neighbour or roommate).
  • Voting results: Elections Canada regulatons stipulate that no results may be reported in a time zone where that zone’s polls have not yet closed. In other words: if you live in Ontario, you can’t broadcast results to Vancouver. This applies to social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well. We will be reporting on the website—and use a geolocation tool to ensure only readers located in Ontario can access our results when polls first close locally but are still open in the west—but not on Twitter and Facebook.

And if you’re still not decided on how you’ll vote, we have some reading that might help…

On our politics hub, you’ll find an interactive map: click on your riding, and you’ll get a profile full of background information, including local political history and links to registered candidates.
Over the past two weeks, we’ve been examining the issues that matter most to urban voters, and seeing how the parties’ platforms compare on each. Here is our full set of Platform Primers:

  Electoral Reform 20110502reformthumb.jpg  
  Environment 20110502envirothumb.jpg  
  Infrastructure 20110502infrastructurethumb.jpg  
  Immigration 20110502immigrationthumb.jpg  
  Health Care 20110502healththumb.jpg  
  Education 20110502educationthumb.jpg  
  Arts and Culture 20110502artsthumb.jpg  
  Law and Order 20110502lawthumb.jpg  

And, finally, having weighed all those policies and proposals and party priorities: our endorsement for the best choice for government.