Canada's On-Campus Voting Program Got Cancelled But Here's How Students Can Still Vote

There are a few ways to cast your ballot while at school.

Trending Senior Staff Writer
How To Vote In Canada's Federal Election As A Student Explained By Elections Canada

As it gets closer to the day Canadians go to the polls, Narcity spoke with Elections Canada to get all the details on how to vote in Canada's federal election if you're a student.

The Vote on Campus program, which allowed students to register and then vote at school, has been scrapped for this election.

Nathalie de Montigny with Elections Canada told Narcity that it was because of the challenges of doing it during a pandemic and the uncertainty of when an election could be called. However, de Montigny did say officials are working on identifying on-campus locations as spots for polling stations where students who consider their on-campus residence to be home can vote.

Despite all that, there are still options for students to cast their ballots and here are three ways to do just that.

Vote by mail

This is an option for students who are living away from the address that they consider to be their home to cast their ballot.

Voting by mail is considered a "special ballot process" because it's different than voting on election day or at advance polls. Once you've applied to vote by special ballot, you can't change your mind and then go vote at advance polls or on election day.

You can apply online or in-person at an Elections Canada office and you'll get a voting kit with everything you need to vote, including a pre-addressed return envelope with prepaid postage.

Even students who will vote using the address where they live while away at school can do this instead of voting in person.

The deadline to apply for a special ballot is 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 14. Your marked and mailed ballot has to reach Elections Canada by election day, which is Monday, September 20.

Vote at an Elections Canada office

Another option for students who are living away from the address they consider to be their home is voting at an Elections Canada office and it can be done at any office across the country. There are locations in all 338 of Canada's electoral ridings.

This is also a special ballot process, so you need to apply either online or in-person at an Elections Canada office to receive your ballot.

If you apply online and get your ballot by mail, you can fill it out and then drop it off in a ballot box at an office.

If you apply at an Elections Canada office, you can fill it out and drop it in the ballot box there and then or take it home, fill it out and come back to the office to drop it off.

Students who are away at school and will vote using the address where they currently live can do this as well.

The deadline to apply for a special ballot is 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 14.

Vote at a polling station

Students can also vote at their assigned advance or election day polling station.

If you're away at school and plan on voting using your current address, which can include on-campus residences, the process should be no different than anyone else voting on polling days as long as you have acceptable proof of ID and address.

For any students who recently moved to a student residence, you can request a Letter of Confirmation of Residence from your university or college that can then be combined with any other accepted proof of ID like a student card, debit card, credit card or library card.

If you're away at school but will be voting with your home address, you can travel back to your home riding if possible and vote there or do it by mail or at an Elections Canada office.

Advanced voting at your assigned polling station happens from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, September 10, Saturday, September 11, Sunday, September 12 and Monday, September 13.

Voting at your assigned polling station on election day takes place on Monday, September 20. Polls will be open for 12 hours but the hours vary by time zone.

Lisa Belmonte
Trending Senior Staff Writer
Lisa Belmonte is a Senior Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Trending Desk focused on government of Canada jobs and is based in Ontario.
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