Everything You Need To Know To Vote In The Federal Election

Designed by Yazmin Butcher
It's almost October 21 — do you know where to vote? If not, no problem. We've laid out everything you need to know before heading to the polls for Canada’s 43rd federal election.

Who's eligible to vote?

You must be a Canadian citizen, be at least 18 years old on election day, and be able to prove your address and identity (no pulling a Frank Abagnale Jr., please). There are two options for proving your identity: The first is to bring one original piece of identification issued by a Canadian government (federal, provincial, or local), such as a driver’s licence. (It must have your name, photo and address.) Or, you can show two pieces of ID. Both must have your name, and at least one must have your address.

How do I know if I’m registered to vote?

By now, you should have received your voting information card in the mail. That means you’re good to exercise your democratic right come October 21. If you’ve voted before, but didn’t get a card (Forgot to update your address? BTDT), you can check to see if you’re registered via the online voter registration service. If it’s your first time or you didn't register early, you can do so at your local electoral office until October 15, or at your polling station either on election day or during advanced polling. In short, Elections Canada is doing pretty much everything it can to make sure you get out and vote.

Can I vote if I’m outside of Canada on October 21?

You don’t have to cancel your vacation to be a good citizen. Registered voters can vote in advance at the polling station in your electoral district from October 11–14 or on select campuses across the country from October 5–9. If those dates don’t work for you, you can vote using the special ballot process at any one of the 500 Elections Canada office locations before October 15. Can’t make it out in person? You can vote via mail by submitting an application form and a photocopy of your ID and address. But you should do this soon: Applications need to be reviewed and approved before you are sent your voter kit.

What if I live abroad?

You can apply online to vote by mail. All you need to do is download the form or have it printed at any Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate and provide the proper paperwork. Once approved, you’ll be added to the International Register of Electors and receive a special ballot voting kit.

Can I take a selfie while voting?

No photos, please. Doing so in a polling station could result in a fine or jail time. However, feel free to take that election selfie for the 'gram outside afterward.

I have accessibility requirements; can I still vote?

Accessibility tools and services will be available at most stations. If you need assistance marking your ballot, you may bring a support person to help you vote. If you require sign-language interpretation, you can get in touch with the Elections Canada office in your riding or fill out the online form.

I have NO idea who to vote for. How can I find out more about the candidates?

Start reading. You can also find out who is running in your electoral district by searching on the Elections Canada website with your postal code. Remember, you vote to elect your local Member of Parliament (MP); Canadians don’t vote for the prime minister directly.
Read all of Refinery29's coverage of the 2019 federal election here.

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