Ready to vote in the 2015 Canadian Election?

The Fair Elections Act could stop you.

Make sure you have Proper ID

1-Piece

A Driver's License or Provincial ID with your current address will be accepted, without any extra paperwork.

2-Piece

Old address on your Driver's License? Use your lease, a utility bill, or a bank statement to prove your new address. Get the full 39-option list is here.

Vouch

Get someone who's in your polling division (not your riding - polling divisions are even more strictly defined) and can prove their identity & address to vouch for you at the polling station. You can only vouch for one other person.

Register in advance by October 13.

There are 4 ways to register to vote.

Option 1: Advance Online Registration

Registering online is the most convenient method of advance registration, but also has the highest chance of failure.

Conditions that Could Stop your Online Registration Dead in its Tracks

  • You've changed your name since you last voted.
  • You live abroad.
  • You're a member of the Canadian Forces.
  • You don't have the proper address type. We've seen a number of reports saying that people in rural communities are having difficulty registering (such as this one and this one).
  • You don't have proper identification. This one is tricky, and deserves some attention:
    • In every province except for Quebec, your provincial driver's license is an acceptable form of online registration identification
    • In Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and Yukon, your provincial ID will also work

If you're good on all of these fronts, then you should proceed to the registration page.

Option 2: Advance Registration at your Local Elections Canada Office

You can register before the October 13th, 6:00pm deadline at your local Elections Canada office. The location of your district's office can be obtained using this form on the Elections Canada website. The staff at the office should be able to guide you through your registration odyssey in-person.

Option 3: Advance Registration by Mail

Call your local Elections Canada office to request a registration form. Mail back the form, with a copy of your proof of identity and address, so the office receives it by Tuesday, October 13 at 6:00 p.m.

Option 4: Register In Person on Election Day

There will be separate line-ups at the polling stations for those who have pre-registered and for those who have yet to register. Bring the same proof of address as is required to vote, as explained in the next section.

“Based on the evidence to date, there is a risk that some individuals who would otherwise rely on the Voter Information Card to enable them to vote will be unable to do so due to s.46(3), which would result in irreparable harm due to their inability to exercise their right to vote in that fashion.”

- Justice David Stinson (emphasis ours)

The election is on October 19.

There are 5 ways to vote.

Option 1: Vote at your Riding's Polling Station on Election Day

  • When: Monday, October 19th, 2015
  • Where: If you've registered to vote, Elections Canada should send you a Voter Information Card in the mail by October 1st. This will tell you where your riding's polling station is located. If you haven't received your card, you should be able to find your polling station online using this Elections Canada page. It's still early - they haven't posted that information yet.

Option 2: Vote at your Riding's Advance Polling Station in Advance

  • When: October 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th a.k.a Thanksgiving Weekend
  • Where: Your advance polling station will also be specified on your Voter Information Card, which should be received by October 1st.

Option 3: Vote at your Riding's Elections Canada Office in Advance

  • When: Before October 13th, 2015
  • Where: You can find your local Elections Canada Office using this Elections Canada Page. Unlike the polling stations, the information for the offices is already available.
  • How: If you were unable to register online, you can kill two birds with one stone: get registered at the office, and cast your vote at the same time.

Option 4: Vote at a Temporary Elections Canada Office in Advance

  • When: October 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
  • Where: Elections Canada is launching a pilot project to open offices at select campuses, Friendship Centres and community centres. You can find the full list here.
  • How: Any eligible voter can use one of these stations to vote, even if it's not in their riding. You vote by way of special ballot: votes will count in the riding where the voter's home address is located, not the riding that the temporary office is in. If you're living away from your riding, this is a great option.

Option 5: Vote by Mail

  • When: Apply by October 13th, 6pm Eastern (if you apply by mail or online), or 6pm local time (if you apply at your Elections Canada Office). Your completed ballot needs to reach Elections Canada by Election Day (October 19th).
  • Where: Applications happen online, by mail, or at an Elections Canada Office.
  • How: In order to vote by mail, you need to apply to do so. You'll want get on that ASAP - they will mail you a voting kit, and you're going to have to mail it back before the Election happens.

“It is essential to understand that the main challenge for our electoral democracy is not voter fraud, but voter participation. I do not believe that if we eliminate vouching and the [information card] as a proof of address, we will have in any way improved the integrity of the voting process. However, we will have taken away the ability of many qualified electors to vote.”

- Marc Mayrand, Chief Electoral Officer of Elections Canada

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