Out with the old and in with the new! More Canadians who live abroad are now getting the opportunity to vote in the upcoming federal election. The new voting rules for living outside of Canada mean that all Canadians living abroad have the right to vote in the upcoming election.
Elections Canada announced that Canadians who have been living abroad now have new voting rules that allow everyone who has been out of the country for some time to participate in the upcoming federal elections.
In the past, Elections Canada had rules that made it so those who were living abroad couldn't vote if they had been out of the country for five years or more. Now, the new rules allow any Canadian living outside of the country to vote regardless of when they last lived in Canada.
You just need to prove your citizenship to get on the International Register of Electors.
In January, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that every Canadian living abroad deserves the right to vote in Canada's elections, no matter how long they've been living outside of the country.
The Liberal government had passed legislation a month before the Supreme Court ruling that ensured voting rights for Canadians outside of Canada, but this ruling could stop future governments from restricting the voting rights of Canadians living abroad.
"Any limit on the right to vote must be carefully scrutinized and cannot be tolerated without a compelling justification," the judgment stated.
Now, Elections Canada is reminding Canadians living abroad of the changes to voting rules.
People are excited to be voting from abroad and others are eager to learn just how they can be able to vote in the upcoming federal election.
Since you can't just go to a polling station the day of the election if you're living abroad, you have to actually mail in your ballot before the election for it to count.
Elections Canada needs to get your marked ballot no later than 6:00 p.m. ET on Oct. 21, so it's important to account for the time it will take for your ballot to be mailed.
"It is important for electors living abroad to plan ahead. It takes time for application forms to be mailed to Elections Canada and processed, and for voting kits to be mailed back to electors at the international address they provided," Elections Canada stated about the new rules.
If you are a Canadian living abroad and are just hearing about the rule changes now don't worry. There's still lots of time for you to register to vote.
The deadline to register is a little over a month away. Elections Canada needs to get your completed registration application by Oct. 15 at 6:00 p.m. ET.
You can learn more about registering to vote while abroad here.