Get out the Vote – Frequently Asked Questions

Registering to vote

Do I have to be registered to vote?
Yes. If you are not already registered, you can register at your polling place, just before you vote, on Monday, October 19.

Am I already registered to vote?
If you received a voter information card with your name and address, you are registered.

How do I update my voter registration?
You can update your registration at your polling place just before you vote, on Monday, October 19.

  • For faster service at your polling place, print yourself a registration certificate using the Online Voter Registration Service.
  • Bring the printout with you when you vote.
    • This registration certificate is not required for you to register at the polls and is not offered in all cases. It is offered to those who are not registered or whose registration is not up-to-date, and whose polling division (area of the riding) can be identified based on their address.
    • If you print a registration certificate, sign it only at your polling place in front of the poll worker who is processing your registration.


I moved recently. Am I still registered to vote?
If you received a voter information card with your name and current address, you are registered. If you did not get a voter information card at your current address, you need to update your address at your polling place, just before you vote.

Which address do I use to register?
Use the physical address of your home. Your home address is where you live. It's where you intend to return to when you are away from that place.

If you live in two places – for example, one while attending school, the other while away from school, or one while you're working, and the other while you're on leave – determine which one you consider to be your home. Use that address to register.

If I update my voter registration with Elections Canada, will the update be sent to my provincial, territorial or municipal elections agency?
It may be, after a delay. Elections Canada shares voter registration information – name, address, date of birth, gender and unique identifier number – with the elections agencies in most provinces and territories and with some municipalities, upon request. There is often a delay of several weeks or months before the voter information is sent and gets reflected in the respective provincial, territorial and municipal voters lists.

If your province or territory is having an election (or is about to have one), please contact your provincial or territorial elections agency directly (main website) to register or update your registration. Likewise, if there is an upcoming election in your municipality, please contact your municipality directly.

Voting

Am I eligible to vote in the federal election?
You can vote in this federal election if you:

  • are a Canadian citizen
  • are at least 18 years old on election day
  • can prove your identity and address

When and where can I vote?
Visit the Elections Canada webpage to find your riding, polling station and hours of operation based on your home address post code.

I'm a student. What riding do I register and vote in – the one where I live with my parents or the one where I live while I attend school?
If you live in two places – one while at school, the other while away from school – choose which one you consider home and use that address to register. You vote for a candidate in the riding where your home address is located.

I'm a student. Can I vote on campus?
On election day, polls may be set up on your campus, usually in or near student residences. You can vote there only if you live on campus and consider your campus residence as your home.

I live in a hospital or long-term care facility. How do I vote? – Information for your patients, clients or residents.

Voters who live in hospitals and facilities that provide long-term care may have the extra option of voting at a mobile polling station in their residence. Elections Canada offers mobile polling stations in some residences and hospital wards. If required, we carry the ballot box from room to room to facilitate voting. To find out if there will be mobile polls in your residence, ask the administrator or call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868.

Everyone who votes must prove their identity and address.

I did not get a voter information card in the mail. What should I do?
If you did not get a voter information card, you can register at your polling place just before you go vote on election day.

What do I do if I received more than one voter information card?
Your voter information card tells you where to vote. In a few cases, a polling place address or a poll number may change after the card is issued. When that happens, Elections Canada mails you another voter information card. The new card says "Replacement Card" in the bottom right corner. Please be sure to keep the right one.

When I filed my taxes with the Canada Revenue Agency, I answered "no" to sharing my information with Elections Canada. Do I still have the right to vote?
Yes. If you are a Canadian citizen aged 18 or older, you can vote even if you answered "no" to that question. But your voter registration may not be up to date.

There are long lineups at my poll. Can I vote in a shorter line or somewhere else on voting days?
No, you are only able to vote at your designated polling station and polling place. The number of your polling station and the address of your polling place appear on the back of your voter information card. That is where you will need to vote.
Please be patient – it is not unusual for lineups to occur at one polling station in a polling place while another station is idle. The voting process has many steps. Election workers are trained to streamline procedures and minimize the wait time as much as possible.

ID required

How do I prove my identity and address when I go to vote?
Show one of these pieces of ID

  • your driver's licence
  • your provincial or territorial ID card
  • any other government card with your photo, name and current address

Or, show two pieces of ID from the list found here.

Or, if your ID does not have your current address, take an oath. Show two pieces of ID with your name and have someone who knows you attest to your address. This person must show proof of identity and address, be registered in the same polling division, and attest for only one person.

I'm a student. What ID do I need to vote?

  • You can prove your identity with your student ID card.
  • You can prove your address with any document issued by your school that shows your home address.
  • If you live in a student residence, you can ask the residence administrator for a Letter of Confirmation of Residence that says you live there. You can use it to prove your address.

Can I use ID with a mailing address – PO box, rural route or general delivery?
Yes, if your mailing address appears in your voter registration file.
I have received my voter information card. Can I use it as ID?
No. Your voter information card is not ID. It cannot be used to prove your identity or address when you vote.

My ID is expired. Will it be accepted?
Yes. Elections Canada accepts expired ID. Make sure it has your name and current address.

I have ID that is not on Elections Canada's list. Will it be accepted?
No. You can only show ID from this list. No other pieces will be accepted.

I lost my original ID document. Can I show a copy?
No. We only accept originals. An exception is made for documents only issued electronically, like e-statements or e-invoices. In these cases, you can bring printouts or show them on a mobile device. An exception is also made for residents of long-term care facilities, who can show photocopies if their original documents are kept somewhere else.

Can I use my passport as ID?
Yes. You can use your passport to prove your identity (name). But you also need to show a second piece of ID with your name and address.

Why can't my passport count as proof of my name and address?
Passport holders write their own address into their passport. For a piece of ID to count as proof of address, the address must be added by the issuer of the document. That's why Elections Canada accepts a passport as proof of identity (name), but not as proof of address.

Taking time off to vote

Am I allowed time off work to vote?
By law, everyone who is eligible to vote must have three consecutive hours to cast their vote on election day. If your hours of work do not allow for three consecutive hours to vote, your employer must give you time off.
For example, if you live in a riding where voting hours are 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and you usually work from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 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 12:30 p.m.), let you leave early (at 6:30 p.m.), or give you three hours off at some point during the work day.
Your employer has the right to decide when the time off will be given.

Are all employers required to give time off work to vote?
Yes, the law applies to all employers.

Who decides when employees may take time off work to vote?
Your employer has the right to decide when in the day to give this time off.

Can an employee lose pay for taking time off to vote?
No. Employers cannot impose a penalty or deduct pay from an employee who is taking time off to vote if required by the Canada Elections Act. An employee must be paid what he or she would have earned during the time allowed off for voting.

Is there a penalty for employers who do not give employees time off to vote?
Yes. It is an offence for employers to fail to provide time off for voting if required under the Canada Elections Act. It is also an offence for an employer to reduce an employee's pay where the employee has been provided time off to vote in accordance with the Act. The maximum penalty for violating these prohibitions is a fine of up to $2,000, three months imprisonment, or both.

At the polling station

Can I vote wearing a face covering?
Yes. Here is the process at the polling place:

If an elector wearing a face covering comes to vote, the deputy returning officer will ask the elector to show their face. If the elector agrees to remove their face covering, the election officer will follow regular voting procedures. Election officers have been instructed to exercise respect and sensitivity in following this administrative procedure.

If the elector does not wish to remove their face covering, the deputy returning officer will advise the elector that they must provide two pieces of authorized identification – at least one having the elector's current address – and then take an oath attesting to their eligibility to vote. If the elector agrees to provide the identification and take the oath, the election officer will follow regular voting procedures.

If the elector refuses to uncover their face and also refuses to provide two pieces of identification and take an oath, they will not be permitted to vote.

Is it okay to use an electronic device or mobile phone inside a polling place?
Voters, candidates and candidates' representatives may use an electronic device, such as a mobile phone, in a polling place for certain purposes. For example, voters may use their mobile device to show proof of identity and address documents issued electronically (such as e-statements or e-invoices).
Voters with disabilities, in particular people with a visual impairment, may use a personal mobile device, such as a smart phone, to read their ballot behind the voting screen – certain conditions apply.

However, voters, candidates and candidates' representatives may not:

  • be disruptive
  • take photos
  • make an audio or video recording
  • jeopardize the secrecy of the vote or the privacy of voters

Poll workers may not use an electronic device inside the polling place, except as required by their job (for example, to call the local Elections Canada office to request more supplies).

Can I share a photo of my marked ballot?
No. The vote is secret. If people were allowed to show how they voted, it could lead to coercion (being forced to vote a certain way) or vote buying. If you're enthusiastic about voting and want to share the experience with your friends, take a photo of yourself outside the polling place.

Moving a polling station

I got a call, e-mail or text saying that my polling place has moved. What should I do?
Be wary. Elections Canada does not call, e-mail or text voters about where to vote or about moving a polling place. If they move a polling place, they inform voters in other ways. If you've been told your polling place has moved, please check the information – contact Elections Canada or use their Voter Information Service to find your polling place.

If someone or something gives you incorrect information about where or when to vote, please contact Elections Canada to report it.

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