How can I can vote in the plebiscite?

In this plebiscite, you will be able to vote online, by phone, or in person!

Voting will open at noon on Saturday, October 29, and close at 7:00pm on November 7. You can vote online or by phone using the Personal Identification Number and web address or phone number found on the Voter Information Card sent to you (by mail or email) during the week of October 24.
You can also vote in person on the following days and times:

November 4: 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

November 5: 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.​

Each District will have a designated voting location, however you may vote at any voting location across the Island. Click here for a full list of voting locations.

How to vote ONLINE?

Check out the video - it's easy!

 

You can vote online anytime between 12:00pm on October 29, and 7:00pm on Monday November 7 by accessing the website published on the Voter Information Card (VIC) that you received in the mail, and entering the unique Personal Identification Number (PIN) found on your VIC. The online voting service will be available in both English and French.

Once you log in, you'll see this on your ballot screen. We've conveniently highlighted where you can find the two proportional options, to mark as your 1st and 2nd choices!

An image of the electronic ballot

 

See more from Elections PEI here: http://www.yourchoicepei.ca/the-ballot

How to vote by PHONE?

You will be able to vote by telephone anytime between 12:00pm on October 29 and 7:00pm on November 7 by calling the phone number found on the Voter Information Card (VIC) you received in the mail, and entering the unique Personal Identification Number (PIN) found on your VIC. The telephone voting service will be available in both English and French.

Listen for the two "Proportional Representation" options (the first and fourth in the list), and choose them as your 1st and 2nd preferences. 

Helpful tip: The phone recording will present the five options on the ballot in the same order that they appear on the online and paper ballots, namely: 

  1. Dual Member Proportional Representation
  2. First-Past-The-Post (the current system)
  3. First-Past-The-Post Plus Leaders
  4. Mixed Member Proportional Representation
  5. Preferential Voting

So to select Dual Member Proportional Representation (DMP) as your first choice, you would press 1, and then when asked to choose your second choice you would press 4 for Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP).

If you would like to rank MMP as your first choice, you would press 4 first to select it as your first preference, then press 1 to select DMP as your second preference.

If you make a mistake, don't worry - the system will give you a chance to do your vote over again at the end.

Here's a recording of the phone voting process:

Is my online or phone vote anonymous?

Election PEI's security overview says that "Whether you use the internet or telephone to vote, your vote is instantly encrypted and stored with no possibility of your vote being traced back to your identity, just like a traditional paper ballot.

It is impossible for Elections PEI employees, Simply Voting employees or any other person to see how you have voted. Election officials will only be able to see that you cast your vote, the time you voted and the IP address or telephone number you voted from."

See the link at the bottom of Elections PEI's plebiscite website: http://www.yourchoicepei.ca/internet-telephone-voting

How to vote IN PERSON?

You can vote in person during the following dates and times:

November 4: 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

November 5: 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.​

Each District will have a designated voting location, however you may vote at any voting location across the Island. Click here for a full list of voting locations.
Here is an example of what the ballot will look like on the day. We've conveniently highlighted where you can find the two proportional options, to mark as your 1st and 2nd choices!
Paper ballot sample from Elections PEI - annotated
For more info from Elections PEI, see here: http://www.yourchoicepei.ca/the-ballot

Vote Splitting means neither of the 2 Proportional options can win... right?

Not to worry! With the ranked ballot, as long as you rank BOTH of the proportional representation options as your first AND second choices (in either order), you will be increasing the chances of a majority vote for one of the forms of Proportional Representation.

The way it works is: if no option is popular enough to pass the 50% mark to win the plebiscite, then Elections PEI will exclude whichever option was least-popular, and will 're-distribute' the votes. If you voted '1' for a choice that is excluded, then your number '2' vote will be counted instead, and added to all the other votes for that option!

 

Donald explains how this works in this video.

Do I have to rank ALL FIVE options, or can I leave some blank?

Elections PEI will still accept your ballot if you don't rank all five options.

You can rank 'as few or as many options as you wish'.

So, if you are voting for Proportional Representation as your 1st and 2nd choices, then you could either choose to rank the remaining options as 3, 4 and 5, or you can leave them blank. It's up to you. There is no specific advantage or disadvantage for Proportional Representation if you rank the remaining options or leave them blank.

Why? Because Elections PEI won't look at your 3rd-choice vote unless BOTH your 1st and 2nd options are eliminated.

My Voter Information Card (VIC) hasn't arrived. How can I vote?

Voter Information Cards were mailed out on October 24. If you chose to receive their VIC by email, it will have been sent on October 24th. 

If you haven’t received your VIC by now, and are an eligible voter (see below), please call Elections PEI at 1-888-234-8683. They can either mail or email you a VIC if required.

The cut off for registration to get your VIC by mail is October 31st, 2016 12:00 PM. All registrations after October 31st 12:00 PM will be sent via email, or contact Elections PEI at 1-888-234-8683 to make further arrangements.

To vote by the internet and telephone, you will require a VIC as it contains the the personal identification number and instructions you’ll need to cast your vote. An eligible voter can attend any voting location in the province, with or without a VIC; however, going to the polls without a VIC will delay the voting process. We are encouraging anyone who wants to vote in person to bring their VIC and acceptable ID.

You are eligible to vote if:

  • You are a Canadian Citizen
  • You are 16 years or older
  • You have been a resident on PEI for at least the last 6 months

NOTE: If you are a student from PEI, but studying out-of-province, you can still register to vote, as long as you: have a family residence on PEI; have PEI ID; and you intend to or have recently returned to PEI to live and work following your studies. You are all clear to select the "have lived in PEI for the past six months before the vote" option when registering.

I don’t have a permanent mailing address. How can I register to vote?

If you do not have a permanent residence, you can declare your residence as a shelter, Salvation Army, soup kitchen or any facility which is in the community to support you. The entire policy on identification requirements is on the Elections PEI website: http://www.yourchoicepei.ca/policies.  If you are in this situation, we recommend calling Elections PEI at 1-888-234-8683 visiting their office at Atlantic Technology Centre, 176 Great George St., Suite 160, Charlottetown in person, for assistance.

Will there be mobile polls, as usual?

Yes, mobile polls will be conducted at all the institutes that Elections PEI normally does mobile polls at, in a general election.  The Returning Officer will be conducting them during the voting period (October 29 to November 7).   Those with limited mobility are also invited to use the internet or telephone to vote. Mail-in ballots will not be used for this plebiscite.

What if my VIC has been used by someone else?

There are security measures in place to prevent this from happening, so hopefully this occurrence will be very rare.

If you attend a voting location only to find out that your card has already been used to vote, you will be directed to the Returning Officer on site. A full procedure is in place to allow for you to vote after making a declaration.  This process will be then handed over to Elections PEI for further investigation and to the police if required.

Anyone found guilty of using another voter’s VIC is liable for a fine of up to $2000 and/or up to two years in prison.

Can I still vote if I am out-of-province temporarily?

A voter who has received their VIC can vote electronically from anywhere in the world if they have access to the internet.

What's a plebiscite?

A plebiscite is like a referendum - where all voting citizens are allowed to voice their opinion on an issue, by voting at a ballot box on what they think the government should do. It's a lot like an election, except that you're voting for an 'idea', instead of for a person.

The only difference between a referendum and a plebiscite is that it isn't binding on the government. Instead, the results of a plebiscite are considered as 'strong advice' to the government, and should be used to guide decision-making on the issue in question.

A win for PR in this November's plebiscite would mean that the government will have no choice but to replace our broken “First-Past-The Post’ - it just wouldn't be right to ignore the will of the people!

How will the plebiscite's 'ranked ballots' be counted?

Watch this video from Elections PEI to learn how the ranked ballots will be counted. This will also help you understand why it’s so important for all of us who support Proportional Representation to rank to the two proportional options as our first AND second choices on the ballot!

 

When will we know the result?!

According to this October 26 CBC News article, the results of the plebiscite will be reported to the public shortly after 8pm on Monday, November 7th - following the close of the voting period.  The results will include the province wide vote on the options and all the details of the counting process.

We expect that the government will act on the outcomes of the plebiscite during the Fall sitting of the legislature.

A complete breakdown by District will be included in the Chief Electoral Officer’s report and presented to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in the Spring sitting.

How can I help get other people out to vote?

We are in the final days of the campaign now. The best way that you can help is to ask EVERY PERSON YOU SEE until voting closes the simple question: "Have you voted yet?" and then "I know it's confusing... would you like me to help break down the 5 options for you?"

Keep the Elections PEI Helpline number handy for anyone who wants to vote but doesn't have their yellow envelope or Elector PIN yet: 1-888-234-8683

Here are some things you can share online:

We have excellent online resources you can share, stacks of flyers you can give to friends or or drop in neighbours’ mailboxes, and a phone list of undecided voters you can call on Saturday or Monday. Just call or email us to get involved: (902)-812-1033, or info@PRonPEI.vote

We know that many islanders are feeling confused. RIGHT NOW is the time to reach out and answer their questions - they’ve got until 7pm on Monday to learn and to make their decision and place their votes - online, by phone, or in person.