Potential Impacts of Extended Advance Voting on Voter Turnout
Appendix A: Polling Day and Advance Voting in Selected Countries
|Country||Polling Day||Advance Voting|
|Australia||Polling day takes place on a Saturday.||A pre-poll vote is cast before election day at a pre-poll voting centre. An application to a pre-poll voting officer shall be made on a day, and during the hours, fixed by the Electoral Commission.|
|Austria||Polling day takes place on a Sunday or other public holiday.||None.|
|Bahamas||Polling day takes place on a weekday.||Police officer or member of The Royal Bahamas Defence Force may vote at an advanced poll to be held for this purpose at such place as the Parliamentary Commissioner shall determine.|
|Belgium||Polling day takes place on a Sunday.||None.|
|Brazil||Polling day takes place on a Sunday.||None.|
|Canada||Each general election must be held on the third Monday of October in the fourth calendar year following polling day for the last general election, with the first general election after this section comes into force being held on Monday, October 19, 2009.||Between the hours of 12:00 noon and 8:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Monday, the 10th, 9th and 7th days, respectively, before polling day.|
|Denmark||Polling day takes place on a weekday.||Advance voting is available to any voter at any of the 275 national registration offices. Advance voting must take place in the period starting three weeks before election day and ending two weekdays before election day.|
|Finland||The date of the election is the third Sunday in March.||Advance voting shall begin on the 11th day prior to the polling day and end on the 5th day prior to the polling day. Advance voting does not occur during certain holidays.|
|France||Polling day takes place on a Sunday.||None.|
|Germany||Polling day takes place on a Sunday or on a statutory public holiday.||None.|
|Greece||Polling day takes place on a Sunday.||None.|
|Guyana||Polling day takes place on a weekday.||Advance polls are available to allow members of any disciplined force or forces to exercise their right to vote at an election without affecting their performance of their duties on the election day.
Advance polling day shall not be more than 10 days earlier than the election day or later than 5 days before the election day.
|Hungary||The general election of members of Parliament is to be held in April or May of the fourth year following the election of the previous Parliament. The president of the Republic chooses the date of the general elections. Polling day has typically been a Sunday – for both rounds.||None.|
|Ireland||Polling day takes place on a weekday.||Certain islands provide for advance voting and allow the returning officer to hold a poll any day during the five-day period before polling day.|
|Italy||Polling day takes place on a Sunday.||None.|
|Japan||Polling day takes place on a Sunday.||Advance voting is possible for the disabled, people who live in remote areas, hospitalized people, and people who wouldn't be able to vote on the designated election day because of their duty or ceremonial occasions or due to their living in a care home. Advance voting can take place at special advance polling centres, starting one day after the election campaign starts and ending on the Friday before polling day.|
|Korea||Polling day takes place on a Wednesday.||For the convenience of people who cannot vote at their polling station on the election day, such as soldiers, the appropriate Gu/Si/Gun election commission sets up and runs a polling station in which the electors listed on the electoral register for reported absentees may cast their ballot between two and six days before the election day. The absentee polling stations open at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 4:00 p.m.|
|Lithuania||Polling day takes place on a Sunday.||Advance voting is available for a crew member of a ship if the ship leaves a port of the Republic of Lithuania within six days prior to an election and does not enter a port of the Republic of Lithuania on the day of the election, or if there are other circumstances that do not allow a crew member or board passenger to vote in his electoral district or by mail.|
|Luxembourg||Polling day takes place on a Sunday.||None.|
|Malta||Polling day takes place on a Saturday.||No details available.|
|Mexico||The elections are held the first Sunday of July of the year that corresponds to the election of federal deputies (every three years), senators (every six years) and president of the United Mexican States (every six years).||None.|
|Namibia||Polling day takes place on a weekday.||No details available.|
|New Zealand||Polling day takes place on a Saturday.||Advance voting is held in the two and a half weeks before election day. A number of advance voting facilities are available in every electorate.|
|Norway||Parliamentary elections shall be held in all municipal authority areas on one day in September in the final year of the electoral term of each Storting. Before each election, the king fixes election day on a Monday. A municipal council may resolve that in one or more places in the municipal authority area, polling shall also take place on the Sunday before the official polling day.||Electors who wish to do so may vote in advance inland from August 10 in the year of the election and on Svalbardand Jan Mayen from July 1 in the year of the election. Advance voting must take place no later than the last Friday before election day.|
|Poland||The elections of the president and of members of the Sejm and the Senate shall be conducted jointly, on a non-working day – typically on a Sunday.||None.|
|Portugal||Polling day takes place on a Sunday.||No details available..|
|Saint Lucia||Polling day takes place on a weekday.||Advance voting is available for police officers two days prior to elections.|
|Spain||Polling day takes place on a Sunday.||None.|
|Slovenia||Polling takes place on a Sunday or any other holiday.||Voters who will be absent on election day may vote prior to that day, but not earlier than five days and not later than two days prior to election day.|
|Sweden||Polling day takes place on the third Sunday in September.||A voter who for any reason cannot vote at her or his polling station on election day may vote in advance at a voting place anywhere in Sweden. Advance voting begins 18 days before election day.|
|Switzerland||Polling day is not specified. Typically, elections are held on Sunday.||The cantons shall permit advance voting on a minimum of two of the four days immediately prior to the polling day.|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Polling day takes place on a weekday.||No details available.|
|Turkey||Polling day is the second Sunday of October.||None.|
ACE, "Comparative Data: Voting Operations – Japan"
Angloinfo Brussels, "Voting in Belgium"
Australian Electoral Commission, "Ways to Vote"
Blais, André; Massicotte, Louis; and Yoshinaka, Antoine, "Establishing the Rules of the Game: Election Laws in Democratic Societies," University of Toronto Press, 2004,
Denmark Ministry of the Interior, "Folketinget"
IFES Election Guide, "Switzerland: News Archive"
Elections New Zealand, "How to Make an Advance Vote"
German Federal Electoral Law
Korean National Electoral Commission, "Voting Procedure"
Le Gouvernement du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg – Élections, Loi électorale du 18 février 2003
Le Gouvernement du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg – Élections, "Elections legislatives 2004 – Principes"
Legislationline, Austrian Parliamentary Election Law
Legislationline, Finnish Election Act
Legislationline, Law n. 2839 on Turkish Parliamentary Elections
Legislationline, Norway Election Act
Legislationline, Polish Parliamentary Election Law
Legislationline, Polish Presidential Election Law
Lexadin, Bahamas: Parliamentary Elections Act, 1992 pdba.georgetown.edu/Electoral/Bahamas/bahamas.html
Lexadin, Law on Elections to the Seimas
Lexadin, National Assembly Elections Act
Lexadin, Representation of the People Act
Ministry of Justice and House Affairs of Malta, General Elections Act
M'07 Electiones Asamblea de Madrid, Electoral Calendar
Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties, Dutch Election Act
National Election Office Hungary, Act C of 1997 on Hungarian Electoral Procedure
National Election Office Hungary, "Parliamentary Elections in Hungary, 1998"
Republica de Mexico, "Codigo federal de instituciones y procedimientos electorales"
Saint Lucia Elections, "Frequently Asked Questions"
Sénat de France, "Études de Législation Comparée – Note de Synthèse"
Swedish Valmyndigheten, "Voting"
Swiss Confederation, Federal Act on Political Rights of 17th December 1976
The UK Electoral Commission, "Ways to Vote"
Appendix B: Polling Day and Advance Voting in Canada
|Jurisdictions||Polling Day||Advance Voting|
|Canada||Each general election must be held on the third Monday of October in the fourth calendar year following polling day for the last general election, with the first general election after this section comes into force being held on Monday, October 19, 2009.
[Canada Elections Act, ss. 56.1(2)]
|Between the hours of 12:00 noon and 8:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Monday, the 10th, 9th and 7th days, respectively, before polling day. [Canada Elections Act, ss. 171 (2)]|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||A general election shall be held on the second Tuesday in October in the fourth calendar year following the polling day at the most recently held general election (October 9, 2007).
[House of Assembly Act, ss. 3(2)]
|On one or more of the seven days immediately preceding the ordinary polling day.
[Elections Act, ss. 125]
|Prince Edward Island||Polling day shall be on a Monday. [Elections Act, s. 5(b)]||Between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday the ninth day before ordinary polling day and on Monday the seventh day before ordinary polling day, and at no other time.
[Elections Act, ss. 82(3)]
|Nova Scotia||Polling day shall be on a Tuesday. [Elections Act, s. 10(b)]||Between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the Friday and Saturday before ordinary polling day. A special poll shall be conducted every day except Sunday during that period of time commencing at 12:00 noon on the 12th day before ordinary polling day and ending at 8:00 p.m. on the sixth day before ordinary polling day during such hours of each day as are prescribed. [Elections Act, ss. 136, 147(1)]|
|New Brunswick||A provincial general election shall be held on the following dates: on Monday, September 27, 2010; and thereafter, on the fourth Monday in September in the fourth calendar year following the ordinary polling day for the most recently held provincial general election.
[Legislative Assembly Act, ss. 2(4)]
|Advance polls shall be open at each advance polling station between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. of Saturday and Monday, the ninth and seventh days before the ordinary polling day.
[Elections Act, ss. 99(4)]
|Quebec||The polling shall take place on the fifth Monday following the issue of the order instituting the election if the order is issued on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, or on the sixth Monday if the order is issued on another day.
[Elections Act, s. 131]
|Advance polling stations are open from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the eighth and seventh days before polling day.
[Elections Act, ss. 301.2]
|Ontario||General elections shall be held on the first Thursday in October in the fourth calendar year following polling day in the most recent general election (October 10, 2007).
[Elections Act, s. 9(2)]
|Advance polls shall be held, at an office of the returning officer on the 18th, 17th and 16th days before polling day, if the ballots have been printed; and at an office of the returning officer and at designated other locations on the 15th, 14th, 13th, 12th, 11th, 10th, ninth, eighth, seventh and sixth days before polling day.
[Elections Act, ss. 44(2)]
|Manitoba||Polling day shall be a Tuesday that is at least 32 days but not more than 43 days after the date the writ is issued.
[Elections Act, ss. 49(1)]
|An advance voting station must operate in the returning office from the second Sunday before election day to the Saturday before election day, and may operate at other locations specified by the returning officer during the same period.
With the exception of a mobile advance voting station, an advance voting station must open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. on any day other than Sunday, and must open at 12:00 noon and close at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.
[Elections Act, s. 125(4)-(5), 125(7)]
|Saskatchewan||Polling day shall be 16 days after nomination day. The nomination day shall be a maximum of 17 days and a minimum of 11 days after the date on which the writ is issued.
[Elections Act, ss. 31(3)]
|An advance poll is to be open any five of the seven days before polling day, provided those days do not include a holiday or the last day before polling day. An advance poll is to be open these hours:
|Alberta||The 14th day after nomination day shall be the day on which voting is to take place. The nomination day shall be the 14th day after the date of the writ. [Elections Act, s. 39(d)]||The polling places for advance polling shall be open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on each of the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the full week preceding polling day.
[Elections Act, s. 98(3)]
|British Columbia||A general voting day must occur on the second Tuesday in May in the fourth calendar year following the general voting day for the most recently held general election (May 17, 2005).
[Constitution Act, s. 23(2)]
|Advance voting opportunities must be held on the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the week before general voting day for an election.
[Elections Act, ss. 76(1)]
|Yukon||The day fixed for holding the poll shall, at any election, be a Monday.
[Elections Act, s. 221]
|Advance polls shall be held on the 23rd and 24th days after the issue of the writ, between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
[Elections Act, s. 199]
|Northwest Territories||Polling day for a general election must be the first Monday in October in the fourth calendar year following polling day for the last general election. [Elections and Plebiscites Act, s. 39(5)]||An advance poll must be open between 12:00 noon and 8 p.m. on Thursday, the 11th day before polling day and may not be open at any other time.
[Elections and Plebiscites Act, s. 154(1)]
|Nunavut||Election day shall be a Monday that is not later than the 35th day after the date of the writ.
[Nunavut Elections Act, s. 36(4)]
|An advance vote must be held on Monday the 7th day before election day.
[Nunavut Elections Act, ss. 94, 121(4)]
Appendix C: Description of Variables for the Canadian Evidence
Advance/Election day voters – Advance voters are those who indicated in the campaign survey of the Canadian Election Study that they voted in advance during the last 10 days of the election campaign. Election day voters are those who indicated in the post-election survey that they voted. Abstainers are those who indicated in the post-election survey that they did not vote.
Interest in politics – Average of two scales, one measuring interest in politics generally and the other measuring interest in the 2006 election. Question wording was: "Using this scale (0 to 10), how interested are you in politics generally? Zero means no interest at all and 10 means extremely interested." And "Using the same scale, how interested are you in the federal election." Rescaled from 0 to 1.
Party identification – Equals 1 if respondents report a strong or moderately strong identification with any of the federal parties. 0 otherwise.
Contact with a party – equals 0 if respondent has had no contact with a party. Equals 1 if respondent has had contact with a party by phone, email or mail, or in person.
Age – measured in years.
Education – Measures education categories, ranging from no schooling to post-graduate or professional education.
Income – Measures household income categories from $0–20,000 to greater than $100,000.
Election day turnout, 2006 – Share of total electorate that voted on election day in 2006, measured 0–100.
Election day turnout, 2004 – Share of total electorate that voted on election day in 2004, measured 0–100.
Margin of victory, 2006 – percentage point differences between first- and second-place party in 2006.
Advance voting increase, 2006 – Difference between 2006 and 2004 in advance vote turnout as a share of all eligible voters.