Survey of Electors Following the April 3, 2017, By-elections in Calgary Heritage (Alberta), Calgary Midnapore (Alberta), Markham–Thornhill, (Ontario), Ottawa–Vanier (Ontario) and Saint-Laurent (Quebec)
II. Voter Information Card (VIC) and Registration
Receipt of Voter Information Card
Eighty-nine percent of electors aware of the by-election held on April 3, 2017, said they received a voter information card (VIC) addressed to them personally and telling them where and when to vote. Conversely, 10% said they did not receive a VIC.
- The likelihood of saying they received their VIC was lower among electors with a high school education (84% vs. 90% of electors with more education) and those who were employed at the time of the survey (88% vs. 93% of electors not in the workforce).
Percentage that received a VIC
Q4. During the campaign, did you receive a voter information card addressed to you personally and telling you where and when to vote?
Base: n=1,868; those who said they were aware of the by-election. Dk/nr: 1%
Voter Information Card—Accuracy
Nearly everyone (98%) who received a VIC said the card had the correct name on it.
Fully 99% said the VIC they received had their correct address on it.
Q5. Was your name correct on the card you received? Base: n=1,706; respondents who received their voter information card. Dk/nr: 1%
Q6. Was your address correct on the card? Base: n=1,706; respondents who received their voter information card. Dk/nr: 1%
Voter Information Card—Brought to Vote
Eighty-eight percent of those who voted brought their VIC when they went to the polling stations, advance polling stations or local Elections Canada office.
Conversely, 12% did not bring their VIC with them to vote.
- Respondents 55 or older were more likely than those 35 to 54 to say they brought their VIC (91% vs. 82%).
- In addition, the likelihood of bringing their VIC to vote was higher among:
- electors with a high school level education (93% vs. 86% of university graduates) and;
- respondents who are not in the workforce (91% vs. 86% of employed electors).
Percentage that brought VIC to vote
Q21. Did you bring your voter information card with you to the polling station/advance polling station/local Elections Canada office?
Base: n=1,285; respondents who voted at an advance poll or at a polling station on election day. Dk/nr: <1%
Awareness of Registration to Vote
Nearly 4 in 5 electors knew that voters need to be registered in order to vote in a Canadian federal election.
- The likelihood of being aware that voters need to register was higher among those with a high school education (83%) than college graduates or those with some post-secondary education (75%).
- Electors in the ridings of Saint-Laurent (86%) and Calgary Midnapore (84%) were more likely to be aware of this requirement (vs. 71% of voters in the riding of Calgary Heritage, 76% in Markham–Thornhill and 78% in Ottawa–Vanier).
Percentage aware of need to register to vote
Q7. Do voters need to be registered in order to vote in a Canadian federal election? Base: n=2,000; all respondents. Dk/nr: 3%
Steps Taken to Find out if Registered to Vote
The majority (69%) of those who did not receive a voter information card during the campaign did nothing to find out whether they were registered to vote in this by-election.
- The likelihood of doing nothing decreased with age.
Q7A: What did you do to find out whether you were registered to vote in this by-election?
Base: n=135; respondents who did not receive a VIC. Dk/nr: 2%
Awareness of Online Voter Registration
Respondents' awareness of the Online Voter Registration Service was tested using a split sample, with half of the sample (n=812) asked whether electors in general could use such a service, and the other half (n=810) asked whether they themselves could have used it. Results show that while a similar proportion of respondents were aware of the Online Voter Registration Service in both groups (58% and 59%), a higher proportion of respondents thought this service was not available to them personally (22%) as opposed to electors in general (15%).
Q8A. To the best of your knowledge, could electors use an Online Voter Registration Service on Elections Canada's website to check, update or complete their voter registration during the last by-election?
Base: respondents who know voters need to be registered. SPLIT SAMPLE: n=812
Q8B. To the best of your knowledge, would it have been possible for you to use an Online Voter Registration Service on Elections Canada's website to check, update or complete your voter registration during the last by-election?
Base: respondents who know voters need to be registered. SPLIT SAMPLE: n=810