By Robert Frank
According to Quebec Education Ministry spokesman Brian St. Louis, citizens only have until Oct. 14 to register to vote in the upcoming Sir Wilfred Laurier School Board (SWLSB) election, Nov. 2, if their name isn’t on the voters roll.
Many Laval, North Shore and Laurentian citizens don’t know that Quebec automatically shunts them to their local French school board voters list, once their children graduate from English school.
You might also be on the SWLSB electoral list if you were registered to vote during the last election in 2007.
If you show up to vote and your name isn’t on the list, you won’t be able to cast a ballot.
Unsure whether you’re on the SWLSB list? It’s easy to find out: Elections Quebec has provided a toll-free telephone number 1-888-353-2846 that you can call to find out which school board election you are registered to vote in.
If you find out that you are not on the SWLSB list and want to get back on, you will have to fill out a form, sign it and deliver it to the Sir Wilfred Laurier School Board election office.
The forms are available on the school board’s website at: www.swlauriersb.qc.ca
Clicking on the school elections button will take you to an information page. You can print out the voter transfer form by clicking the option form link. Clicking on the Am I on the Electoral List link will take you to an explanation of what to do with the form, once you have completed it.
Transferring to an English school board voter list is a clunky process that St. Louis told The Suburban the Education Ministry is continuing to seek ways to streamline.
“Some work is being done right now because not a lot of people have been going to vote in school board elections,” he said in an interview. “We’re trying to improve.”
He added that the Education Ministry might consider developing the means to submit voter transfer requests electronically via the Internet, “though it would likely be something to consider for the next round of school board elections [in 2018] because it is a little too late [to implement in time for the upcoming election, Nov. 2].”
Barely over one in six eligible voters (16.33 percent) bothered to cast a ballot during the last SWLSB election in 2007.
The upcoming vote is important because another similarly abysmal turnout this year will undermine the democratic mandate of Quebec school boards.
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