Canada's 44th general election will look somewhat different at the polling stations this year.
While Vancouverites may vote in person on the official day of the election on Monday, Sept. 20, they'll be required to don face coverings and maintain safe physical distancing.
In previous provincial elections during the pandemic (including one in B.C. last October), an elector’s right to vote trumped mask requirements. But Elections Canada officials said they will follow the rules set by local health authorities in each jurisdiction — which means B.C.’s mask mandate will be the rule for voters in this province.
Registered voters may also vote on advance polling days, by mail, or in advance at any Elections Canada office.
Advance polling days
Voters must go to their assigned polling station between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10; Saturday, Sept. 11; Sunday, Sept. 12; and Monday, Sept. 13.
Elections Canada notes that voting on advance polling days differs in federal elections from provincial ones. You must vote at your assigned station for a federal election.
Voting by mail
To vote by mail, apply online or at any Elections Canada office across Canada before Tuesday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m. You will be mailed a voting package complete with everything you need including a prepaid envelope.
Learn more about how to find the list of candidates in your riding and how to mark your ballot.
Voting at Elections Canada offices
There are over 500 Elections Canada offices open across Canada. Vote at any one of them before Tuesday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m. You will vote using the special ballot process.
The offices are open seven days a week:
- Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Sunday: noon to 4 p.m.
When you vote by special ballot, your ballot won't have a list of candidates to choose from. Instead, there is a blank space for you to write the name of the candidate you're voting for. At a local Elections Canada office, an election worker can help you if you have questions.
Voting on election day
You may vote at your assigned polling station on election day, Monday, Sept. 20. Polls will be open in Vancouver from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Who is eligible to vote?
To vote in the federal election, you must:
- be a Canadian citizen
- be at least 18 years old on election day
- prove your identity and address
Elections Canada states that you have many options to prove your identity and address. See your options and the full list of ID accepted at the polls.
If you don't have ID, however, you may declare your identity and address in writing and "have someone who knows you and who is assigned to your polling station vouch for you."
The voucher must prove your identity and address using option 1 or option 2 from the list of accepted IDs. A person can vouch for only one person (except in long-term care facilities).
How do I register to vote?
To check if you're registered or to register, use the Online Voter Registration Service or call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868.
Register before you go to vote
- Use the Online Voter Registration Service by Tuesday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m.
- In person at any Elections Canada office across Canada by Tuesday, Sept. 14, p.m.
Register when you go to vote
- At your assigned polling station on election day.
- At your assigned polling station on advance polling days.
- At any Elections Canada office across Canada by Tuesday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m.
With files from Chuck Chiang / Business In Vancouver.