Elections Canada

Elections Canada

January 19, 2006 19:08 ET

Elections Canada: Important Reminders for Electors on Election Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 19, 2006) - The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, issued some reminders today to help electors cast their ballots on election day.

The address and voting hours of an elector's polling station are shown on the voter information card that he or she received in the mail during the last week of December. "An elector must vote at the polling station for his or her own polling division, which is determined by the home address," stated Mr. Kingsley. "It's a good idea to bring your card with you when you go to vote. It is not an ID, but it will give you quicker access to your polling station," added Mr. Kingsley.

Any elector who did not receive a voter information card should contact the office of the returning officer in his or her electoral district to get the address of the polling station. This information is also available on the Elections Canada Web site by clicking on the Voter Information Service icon at www.elections.ca and typing in your postal code, or by calling Elections Canada at 1 800 463-6868. An automated voice recognition service for commonly asked questions is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at this number.

Canadian citizens 18 or over by election day are eligible to vote. The names of all registered electors appear on the lists of electors. Any elector whose name is not on the lists may still register on election day, before voting. There are two ways to register on election day:

- come to the polling station with valid identification that shows name, address
and signature (like a driver's licence)


- swear an oath to prove identity and place of residence
- an elector who is registering by taking an oath must go to the
polling station with a registered elector whose name appears on the
list of electors for the same polling division
- the registered elector must swear an oath that he or she knows the
elector who is registering, and can confirm that he or she is
eligible to vote

Employers must, if necessary, alter the working hours of their employees who are qualified to vote, to allow employees at least three consecutive hours to vote while their polling stations are open. No employer may make a deduction from the pay of an employee, or impose a penalty, for the time that the employer must allow for voting.

An elector requiring assistance to vote may request it from an election officer present at the polling station, or may be accompanied behind the voting screen by a friend. The friend must first swear an oath to follow the elector's instructions, not to try to influence his or her choice and not to disclose how the elector voted. An individual may help only one voter in any given election.

Electors with impaired vision may request a voting template. The template is a folded piece of cardboard into which the ballot is inserted. The holes in the template are aligned with the places where the voter can indicate his or her choice of a candidate. The deputy returning officer tells the voter which hole corresponds to each of the candidates, and the voter goes behind the voting screen to mark the ballot.

Nearly all polling stations have level access, which is indicated on the voter information card. Where level access is not provided, an elector may obtain a transfer certificate from his or her returning officer upon request. The request must be submitted by 10:00 p.m. on Friday, January 20.

The Chief Electoral Officer reminds electors that it is an offence to vote more than once at an election.

For further information, electors may contact the office of the returning officer, visit www.elections.ca or call 1 800 463-6868.

The Elections Canada Web site is providing many electors and other visitors with information about voting in the current federal election. Since the holiday period, the daily number of visits to the site has been significantly higher than at the 2004 general election. In fact, there have been more than twice as many visits in the past week than during the same phase of the 2004 election. It is expected that the Elections Canada Web site will be very heavily consulted on election day, January 23, particularly during the evening hours as the preliminary election results are displayed. Visitors to the site may need to be a little patient during the peak period.

Elections Canada is an independent body set up by Parliament.

Contact Information

  • Elections Canada
    Elections Canada Media Relations