By Whitney Hunter
If you haven’t heard, the 2019 general election is coming up on October 21, 2019. We want to make sure you have all the information you need to get out and vote. The average voter turnout for Canada’s general elections since 1867 is 71%1. This means over a quarter of people in Canada have chosen to not have a say in who runs our country and more directly, who makes decisions on things like taxes and regulations that impact everything we do.
Three Easy Ways
There are three easy ways you—yes you!—can vote during this upcoming election:
- Vote on Election Day. To do this, simply find the hours and address of your Election Day polling station. You’ll find these details on your voter information card and through the Elections Canada website. It helps if you register to vote ahead of time, but if you aren’t registered when Election Day comes don’t worry, you can sign up at your local polling station before you vote.
- Vote at your advance poll. Advance polls will be open October 11 – 14 from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. local time. You can find addresses of your advance poll on your voter information card and by checking out the Elections Canada website.
- Vote at any Elections Canada office. You can also vote in person at any Elections Canada office across the country before October 15 at 6:00 p.m. To do this you must complete an application for registration and a special ballot and show proof of identity and home address. This can be done at the office.
- Vote by mail. If your home is in Canada, you need to wait until the election is called to apply to vote by mail. To do this you must complete an Application for Registration and Special Ballot. These forms are available at local Elections Canada offices.
According to Elections Canada, employers must give all eligible voters three consecutive hours to cast their vote on Election Day. If hours of work do not allow for three consecutive hours off during voting, your employer must give you time off. This means if you live in a riding where voting hours are between 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. and you work from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., your hours of work will not allow three consecutive hours for voting. To give you three consecutive hours to vote, your employer could allow you to arrive late (at 11:30 p.m.), let you leave early (at 5:00 p.m.), or give you three hours off at some point during the work day.
To find out where your local polling station is located and what hours they are open visit Elections Canada’s website, or check your voter identification card.
When you arrive at your local polling station you will be asked to prove your identity. You can do this in one of three ways:
- Show one piece of primary photo identification such as your driver’s license or any other card issued by a Canadian government with your photo, name and current address.
- Show two pieces of ID which must both have your name on them and one must have your current address. Examples of this are your voter information card and a bank statement or your utility bill and a student ID card.
- You can vote, even if you do not have ID by declaring your identity and address in writing and having someone who knows you and who is assigned to vote at your polling station vouch for you.
It is important we all work together to get everyone in our lives to the polling stations on Election Day. Our democracy depends on it. Get your departments, your crews, your offices, your families and friends together and make it a fun experience. With our helpful tips, we think it will go as smoothly as possible.
Working in the field? If you will be working away from home on October 21 we suggest you vote during Advance Polls the week before Election Day.
Away from home for an extended period of time? Vote by mail. You must wait until the election is called but then you can apply to vote by mail.
Elections Canada Contact information
For specific voter information contact, visit www.elections.ca or call Elections Canada toll-free at 1-800-463-6868.