One person, one vote, many ways

One person, one vote, many ways

There are more ways to cast your vote in an election besides marking a ballot on election day, says Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer.

“While most people vote on election day, they could instead choose to vote at the advance polls or by special ballot,” says Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand.

“Many people are not aware that they can, in fact, vote by special ballot at any point during the election period if they first register to do so.”

With the special ballot, electors can vote by mail or in person at their local Elections Canada office. Those away from their riding can register at any local Elections Canada office or with Elections Canada in Ottawa.

Electors must first complete a special ballot application form, which they can get from a local Elections Canada office, from, or by phoning 1 800-463-6868.

Electors can register in person at a local Elections Canada office, or they can mail or fax their application to Elections Canada in Ottawa. They have to provide proof of identity and address and ensure Elections Canada receives their application by 6 p.m. on the Tuesday before election day.

When their application is approved, electors get a special ballot voting kit – by mail if that’s how they applied, or right away if they registered in person.
Electors who have successfully registered for a special ballot won’t be able to vote in any other way during the election.

In order to be counted, special ballots have to reach Elections Canada by election day – by the close of polls locally, at the local Elections Canada office; or by 6 p.m., Eastern Time, at Elections Canada in Ottawa.

“Elections Canada wants to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast their ballot in whatever way is most convenient for them,” says Mr. Mayrand.

The special ballot process is different for Canadian Forces and incarcerated electors. More information for these electors is available on Elections Canada’s website or by phone.

For those wanting to vote at the advance polls, they will be held on Friday, April 22, Saturday, April 23 and Monday, April 25, from noon to 8 p.m.
For more information, go to or call 1-800-463-6868.