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Ways to Vote

To vote, you must be a Canadian citizen, be at least 18 years old on election day, and prove your identity and address.

Once an election is called, you will have several voting options:

Vote on election day

The date, hours and address of your election day poll will be available online, on your voter information card or by calling Elections Canada.
To vote on election day:

After an election is called, you can also register at your local Elections Canada office or at your polling station when you go to vote.

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Vote at your advance poll

Advance polls are held on the 10th, 9th, 8th and 7th days before election day.

The date, hours and address of your advance poll will be available online, on your voter information card or by calling Elections Canada.

To vote at your advance poll:

After an election is called, you can also register at your local Elections Canada office or at your polling station when you go to vote.

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Vote at any Elections Canada office

After an election is called, Elections Canada sets up local offices in every riding in Canada.

You can vote in person at any Elections Canada office across the country until the 6th day before election day.

To vote at an Elections Canada office, you must complete an Application for Registration and Special Ballot. Staff can help you with this form, if you'd like. You must show proof of your identity and address.

Once your special ballot application is accepted, staff will give you a special ballot voting kit. You can vote on the spot. Or, if you prefer, you can come back to the office to submit your vote later.

After an election is called, the address of Elections Canada offices will be available online or by calling Elections Canada.

Voting at an Elections Canada office means voting by special ballot.


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Vote by mail

a) Vote by mail for electors who live in Canada

If your home is in Canada, you must wait until after an election is called to apply to vote by mail.

After an election is called:

  • Complete an Application for Registration and Special Ballot. The form will be available on this website, at any local Elections Canada office or by calling Elections Canada.

  • Send us your completed form and proof of identity and home address. You can submit them by fax, by mail, or in person at any local Elections Canada office.

  • Once your application is accepted, we will send you a special ballot voting kit by regular mail. (If you apply in person, staff will hand you the kit.) The kit explains how to mark your special ballot and mail it in.

Voting by mail means voting by special ballot.

b) Vote by mail for electors who live outside Canada

If you're a Canadian elector, your home is outside Canada, and you meet certain eligibility criteria, you can apply now to vote by mail in a future election.

Canadians living abroad: Apply now to vote by mail in a future election

You can also get an application form by calling Elections Canada. Ask for an Application for Registration and Special Ballot for Canadian Citizens Residing Outside Canada.

  • If we accept your application, we will add your name to the International Register of Electors. This is a list of Canadians temporarily living outside Canada who can vote in federal elections.
  • When an election is called, we will mail a special ballot voting kit to everyone in the International Register of Electors. The kit explains how to mark your special ballot and mail it in.

Voting by mail means voting by special ballot. Learn more about voting rules for Canadians living abroad.

Important information on voting by special ballot

Voting by mail or at a local Elections Canada office means voting by special ballot.

  • Anyone may vote by special ballot, but you must apply for this ballot in advance.

  • Your application must be received at Elections Canada by the special ballot registration deadline: 6 p.m. on the Tuesday before election day.

  • Once your application is accepted, we will give you a special ballot voting kit. This kit includes:

    • a special ballot
    • two envelopes (they keep your vote secret)
    • instructions on how to mark and mail in your special ballot

  • Your completed special ballot must arrive at Elections Canada by the election day deadline, or it will not be counted.

  • Once your application to vote by special ballot has been accepted, this is the only way you can vote. You cannot vote at the advance or election day polls or apply for another special ballot.

  • You may vote only once during an election, and you may vote only for a candidate running in your riding.

Learn more about voting by special ballot.

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