College and university students were informed today that Elections Ontario has decided to relocate 27 college campus polls to alternative locations. This disappointing news comes less than two weeks away from the beginning of the advance polls, and is due to the recent support staff strike.
"Student associations have been working on their campuses to help mobilize the student vote and engage the youth in this provincial election," says Brian Costantini, President of the College Student Alliance (CSA). "Historically this has been a demographic that has not fully participated elections. "
The CSA has been in touch with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and the College Employers Council. Both parties are prepared to cooperate to ensure students and citizens have voting access. Moving forward, the College Student Alliance has been assured that labour disputes should not impact the voting process, as this one has.
"We strongly advise that future planning considers the effects of situations such as staff strikes and that students are consulted in the process" says Anthony Boland, Vice-President, CSA.
A great deal of criteria is considered in the decision to place polling stations at a given location. Each station must be verifiable and guaranteed and it is CSA's understanding that Elections Ontario has decided to pursue other avenues that better fit their criteria.
Campus outreach initiatives will still take place and students are encouraged to visit www.itsyourvote.ca and follow us on twitter (@CSA_ON) for the most up-to-date information pertaining to the provincial election and voting options.
The College Student Alliance (CSA) is an advocacy organization, which has been proudly serving Ontario's college and college-university students since 1975. The CSA currently represents 15 colleges and 23 member councils with over 130,000 full-time student members throughout the province.
Edited by Kristin Craik