NORTH PERTH – It Takes a Village Executive Director received official word from Elections Ontario on May 19 that The Village has been approved to be the location in North Perth to support community members living rough or without a fixed address to vote.
This means that The Village can assist people in filling out a “Certificate of Identity and Residence” form, verifying their current housing situation.
“I’m thrilled we can support folks to get to the polls,” said Charest. “I hope the Municipality also enables this accessibility for our community members who live unsheltered or precariously to vote for the Municipal candidates they feel would best advocate for and support them.”
Returning Officer for Elections Ontario. Pat Ranney said that if people are homeless or have no fixed address, there are methods that can be used, such as working with a food bank or specific organization that can become an authorized signatory for those constituents.
It Takes a Village had to go through an application process and become approved by Elections Ontario to become a designated organization.
“You get a one-page letter, and that becomes their identity.” Said Ranney. “So instead of how normally we get the cards to our home addresses, and we have to bring a piece of ID, some people don’t have a permanent address, and maybe they don’t have formal ID, so this is a way to ensure that qualified, eligible individuals who are 18 plus can vote.”
Elections Ontario has done this in Perth-Wellington in the past in Stratford.
“We are working again with the Local, another food facility, and then we’re also working this time with Choices for Change,” she said. “I was looking to expand the reach into other areas because our district does go further north, so that’s how I got in touch with It Takes a Village,”
If the Village staff are familiar with the people, they can be endorsed and provided with a letter they take to the polls, and that becomes their ID, and they don’t have to provide anything else.
“These are important steps in inclusion, equity and empowerment – thanks to Elections Ontario,” said Charest.
Election day is June 2, but advance polls have already opened. For more information about voting, visit electionsontario.ca.
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