Election day is one of the most important days for Canadians from coast to coast. It’s your chance to have a say in the future of our country – what could be more significant than that? It’s your opportunity to get out to your polling station to cast your ballot and have your voice heard, but make sure you’re armed with all the right information and that you’re prepared!
Whether you’re a seasoned voter or it’s your first time going to the polls, here's what you need to know before casting your ballot in the upcoming federal election.
How to Register to Vote or Check Your Voter Registration
Being registered to vote in Canada is the first step in the voting process. You must be a Canadian citizen and at least 18 years old on election day. There are benefits to being registered. Once the election is called, you will receive a voter information card with your name plus all the information on where and when to vote. It will also save you time when you go vote.
Not registered or don’t know if you are? No problem. Head to this link to check, update or complete your registration; you can do it online without leaving the house. To register, make sure you have your driver’s licence or provincial or territorial ID card on hand. Don’t have one of those? Other types of IDs are accepted; consult the complete list of accepted identification cards here.
If you're already registered, double check to make sure your voter information is up to date by visiting elections.ca. You can correct your address there, but will need to call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868 if there are other mistakes, such as your name.
Know When and Where to Vote
There are many ways to vote during the election period, which makes it really convenient, including voting at your assigned polling station on election day or at advance polls. Information about where and when you can vote will be on your voter information card, which you'll receive in the mail a couple of weeks prior to the election. To get a card, you need to be registered. Make sure to keep an eye on your mail after the election is called so you’re informed and ready to go. If you can’t vote on those days, visit elections.ca to check out other options, like voting on some campuses or at any Elections Canada office across the country!
What to Expect When You Go to Vote
What can you expect to happen when you go to vote this fall? Here’s the nitty gritty of the process.
Upon your arrival, an election worker will greet you and show you to the right table. Make sure you bring accepted ID with you. The election workers at the table will ask you to provide identification to prove your identity and address. The complete list of accepted ID is posted here.
They will then check your name on the list of electors and give you a folded ballot. You'll go behind the voting screen, mark your ballot, and refold it to keep your vote secret. You'll return your ballot to the election worker. An election worker will remove the tab so your ballot can’t be traced back to you. The election worker will return the ballot to you and you will put it in the ballot box.
Just a reminder: election workers are there to help you. If you need anything that could make your voting experience easier, just ask. For example, you can let an election worker know that you requested language interpretation or sign language interpretation ahead of time. Or you can request one of the many voting assistance tools and services available. Check out all the tools and services here. If you need help marking your ballot or if you’ve brought someone to assist you, let an election worker know.
Elections Canada is the official trusted source for federal electoral information. If you have any questions at all, consult their website to get all the info you need to facilitate your voting experience and to verify your voter registration information. Remember: All eligible electors have an equal opportunity to vote. It's a right and privilege – so make sure you get out there on election day to make your voice heard! It's Our Vote, after all.