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How to vote in a federal election


1. Register online

In order to vote, you need to be on the voter’s list. Visit elections.ca to check, update or complete your registration online. You can also register in person on election day by filling out a form at your polling station, but it’s much easier to do it in advance. If you are a student, you might call more than one place home – your parents’ house, your student residence, your sublet apartment. You can choose which one to use as your address when voting, even if that’s not where you will be on election day. The address you use determines which riding you’ll vote in. Your choice might be influenced by which riding is likely to have the closest race, or you may want to pick based on what ID you have.

2. Get the right ID

Even when you’re on the voter’s list you still need to prove who you are and where you live. It’s best to make sure that you have the ID you’ll need to vote.

You have three choices:

A. Show one piece of government-issued ID with your photo, name and address, like a driver’s licence.

B. Show two pieces of ID, one with your name and one with your name and address. You could use your health card and your bank statement, or your debit card and your phone bill. Get all your bills online? Print a copy or display it on your phone.

C. Show two pieces of ID with your name and bring someone else who will attest to your address. If you don’t have any ID with your address on it, another member of your household or a neighbour can swear that you live where you say you live. That person has to have ID as described in A or B, has to be registered, and has to live in the same polling division as you (check the poll number on the back of your voter information cards to make sure they’re the same). They can only attest to the address of one person.

3. Find out where to vote

If you are a registered voter who is 18 years-old or older, you will receive a voter information card in the mail telling you where and when you can vote. You can also find this information online at elections.ca. Your polling station will usually be a short distance from where you live.

If you’re not going to be near your polling station on election day, that’s all right. You can vote at advance polls, at any Elections Canada office or by mail.

4. Vote!

The most common way to vote is to go to your polling station during the designated hours on election day. Did you know that by law you’re entitled to three consecutive hours away from work to vote? If you’re working on election day, your employer might have to give you time off.

Voting is one of the truest acts of democracy – by putting pencil to paper you will join people across Canada to vote for the candidate and the political party you think will best lead our country. This is a critical time in our history when the world’s leading scientists say climate change must be urgently addressed.