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Public Opinion Survey Following the March 19th, 2012 By-election in Toronto–Danforth (Ontario)


This section explores issues related to voter registration and the Voter Information Card.

Voter Information Card Widely Recalled and Accurate

Over nine in ten electors (92%) said they recalled receiving a Voter Information Card that was addressed to them and that told them where and when to vote. Conversely, 8% did not recall receiving the card. This recall percentage is virtually identical to the 2011 general election (91%).

Sociodemographic differences

The likelihood of recalling the Voter Information Card increased with age, from 64% of respondents under 25 to 96% of those 65 and older. In addition, recall was higher among electors with household incomes between $40,000 and $60,000 (98%), those without a disability (93% vs. 82% of those with a disability), those at home full-time (96%) or employed (94%) compared to students (70%), as well as respondents with a university degree (93% vs. 87% of those with high school or less).

Respondents who recalled receiving the Voter Information Card (n=681) were asked whether their name and address were correct on the card. All electors but two (100%, rounded) reported that their address was correct, and 98% said their name was correct. These results are consistent with the 2011 general election.

The small number of respondents (n=14) who reported errors in their name or address were asked whether they did anything to make corrections on their Voter Information Card. In response, six respondents said they took action to correct the information.

Information Recalled from Voter Information Card

Electors who remembered receiving the Voter Information Card (n=681) were asked if they recalled any information it contained beyond where and when to vote. The single greatest proportion, nearly four in ten (39%), could not recall any specific information.

In terms of content recall, 30% said the Voter Information Card contained information about the advance polls. Another 16% recalled the polling station number and 15% recalled information about voters needing personal identification to vote. Also mentioned with some frequency were information about where to vote (8%), a reminder or encouragement to vote (7%), when to vote (date and time) (5%), and that the Voter Information Card cannot be used to meet the identity requirements (5%).

Sociodemographic differences

Respondents with a university degree (35%), those with a household income between $60,000 and $100,000 (35%), and women (34%) were more likely to recall that the Voter Information Card contained information about the advance polls.

Specific Recall of Voter Information Card
Text description of "Specific Recall of Voter Information Card"

Among those who did not recall receiving a Voter Information Card (n=41), most were likely to have done nothing to find out if they were registered to vote (n=26). Of those who did take action, most either called Elections Canada's 1-800 telephone number (n=5) or said they found out whether they were registered at the polling station or a local Elections Canada office (n=5).

Most Brought Voter Information Card to Polls

In every federal election, electors are invited to bring their Voter Information Card to the polling station in order to facilitate the voting process. For this by-election, almost nine in ten respondents (88%) who went to vote reported having brought their Voter Identification Card with them to the polling station (compared to 83% in the 2011 general election).