Voting 101

Women’s Centre volunteers are passionate about getting everyone out to vote in the upcoming federal election, so they’ve put together this handy voting guide. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments, call us at 403-264-1155, or visit the Elections Canada website.

Can I Vote? 

Yes, if you are a Canadian citizen, you will be 18 years old or over on October 19, 2015, live in a voting district (aka are a “resident in an electoral district”) and registered to vote on the Voters List.

What is the Voters List and how can I check if I am on it? 

The Voters List is a list of people who are registered to vote in the federal election. Since these lists aren’t updated often, there may be old information and names missing from the list.

To check if you are on the list you can check the Online Voter Registration Service.

If you do not have access to the internet, you can visit your local Elections Canada Office between Monday, August 17 and Tuesday, October 13, or you can call your local Elections Canada Office and ask them to send you a registration form. To find your Local Election Office, please call 1-800-463-6868.

A few weeks before the election you will get a Voter Information Card in the mail. You can register and make any corrections to your Voter Card on election day. If you do not get a Voters Card, you are not on the Voters List.

How do I register on Election Day?

If you are going to register on election day, you will need proof of identity and proof of your residence.

You can either bring:

1) ONE of the following  (has your photo, name, and current address printed on it):

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

OR

2) TWO of the following (both with your name and at least one document with your current address printed on it):

    • health card
    • Canadian passport
    • birth certificate
    • certificate of Canadian citizenship
    • citizenship card

See Full List

  • social insurance number card
  • Indian status card
  • band membership card
  • Métis card
  • card issued by an Inuit local authority
  • Canadian Forces identity card
  • Veterans Affairs health card
  • old age security card
  • hospital card
  • medical clinic card
  • label on a prescription container
  • identity bracelet issued by a hospital or long-term care facility
  • blood donor card
  • CNIB card
  • credit card
  • debit card
  • employee card
  • student identity card
  • public transportation card
  • library card
  • liquor identity card
  • parolee card
  • firearms licence
  • licence or card issued for fishing, trapping or hunting
  • utility bill (e.g. electricity; water; telecommunications services including telephone, cable or satellite)
  • bank statement
  • credit union statement
  • credit card statement
  • personal cheque
  • government statement of benefits
  • government cheque or cheque stub
  • pension plan statement
  • residential lease or sub-lease
  • mortgage contract or statement
  • income tax assessment
  • property tax assessment or evaluation
  • vehicle ownership
  • insurance certificate, policy or statement
  • correspondence issued by a school, college or university
  • letter from a public curator, public guardian or public trustee
  • targeted revision form from Elections Canada to residents of long-term care facilities
  • letter of confirmation of residence from a First Nations band or reserve or an Inuit local authority
  • etter of confirmation of residence, letter of stay, admission form or statement of benefits from one of the following designated establishments: student residence, seniors’ residence, long-term care facility, shelter, soup kitchen

OR

3) If you do not have a piece of identification that has your current address, you can show TWO pieces of identification with your name printed on it 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.

Do I get time off from work to vote?

Everyone who is eligible to vote must be provided with three consecutive hours to vote during polling hours. If you already have three hours off during the polling hours, your employer does not need to give you any time off.

You must check your voting hours and if you require time off from work, then you must ask your employer in advance. Your employer has the right to decide when your time off will be given (ie: if you are permitted to leave early, come in late, or take some time off during the work day). You should not lose any pay for this time off.

What if I need a language or sign language interpreter?

In order to get an interpreter, you will need to fill out a request form, contact Elections Canada 1-800-361-8935, or make the request using the Elections Canada telephone service provided in over 110 languages at TTY 1-800-463-6868. Please note that the request must be received before 6:00 p.m. on October 15, 2015.

What if I need assistance in marking a ballot?

If you need someone to assist you in marking your ballot, you may ask a family member, friend, personal support worker, intervener or sign language interpreter to accompany you. That person will have to take an oath at the polling station confirming that they will keep your vote a secret. If you prefer, you can also ask an election worker help you mark your ballot. If this happens, a second election worker will also watch and act as a witness.

What if I don’t have a fixed address?

If you are living at a shelter, or receiving services from shelter or soup kitchen, you can still vote. Print the letter of confirmation of residence form and ask the administrator to complete it and sign it. Feel free to use computers at the Women’s Centre to print this form. You can also use a letter from the administrator that is printed on the shelter’s letterhead. When you go vote, bring the letter and a second piece of ID with your name.

What should I expect when I go to vote?

You will walk into a polling station where you may have to wait in a line up. Once you reach the front of the line, you will be greeted by an election worker who will show you to the right table. At your table you will be asked to show your identification and then the election worker will initial, fold and hand you a piece of paper.  This paper is your ballot. You will take your ballot, walk behind a small screen, mark your ballot, and fold it up. You will then return to the election worker and give them your ballot. They will tear off a tab and give you the ballot back. You will put your ballot in a box on the table and you have voted!

What does a ballot look like?

Each ballot will have a list of names of all the candidates in your riding with a white circle beside each candidate’s name. You will mark an “X” in the white circle beside the person’s name who you want to vote for.

To make sure your vote counts – be careful not to spoil your ballot. This means do not sign your name on the ballot, make only one “X” on your ballot; and do not write anything else on your ballot.

If you make a mistake while marking your ballot, you can get a new one. Just return to the election worker and tell them that you made a mistake and will give you a new ballot.

 

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