Federal Election
Monday, October 21

FAQs on voting

Can I vote in the election?

To vote in the federal election, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen
  • be at least 18 years old on election day
  • prove your identity and address

Check if you're registered to vote.

Top of page

Where do I vote?

You can now only vote in your riding at your assigned polling station on election day – October 21.

Top of page

Can I vote before election day?

All advance voting options have ended. You can now only vote in your riding at your assigned polling station on election day – October 21.

Top of page

I will be 18 years old on election day. Can I vote earlier?

To be qualified as an elector, you must be a Canadian citizen and at least 18 years old on election day. If you are currently 17 years old, but will turn 18 by October 21, 2019, you can vote at your assigned polling station on election day.

Top of page

What is a special ballot?

A ballot that can be sent in by mail, or filled in at the local Elections Canada office, for use by electors who cannot go to their polling stations. The special ballot differs from a regular ballot in that the elector writes in the name of their preferred candidate. However, the deadline to apply to vote by special ballot has passed.

Top of page

What is a mobile poll?

A poll staffed by a deputy returning officer and a poll clerk, who travel on election day from institution to institution where seniors or persons with disabilities reside, to take their votes.

Top of page

I was out of town for Thanksgiving weekend. What are my voting options?

All advance voting options have ended. You can now only vote in your riding at your assigned polling station on election day – October 21.

Top of page

Why are advance polls on Thanksgiving weekend? Lots of people are away from home that weekend.

We are required by the Canada Elections Act to hold advance polls on the 10th, 9th, 8th and 7th days before election day. These days coincide with Thanksgiving weekend.

Top of page

I'm a student. Can I vote on campus?

The Elections Canada offices on more than 115 campuses across Canada are now closed, but you can still vote in your riding at your assigned polling station on election day – October 21.

Top of page

If I cannot vote on campus, what are my options?

If you cannot vote on campus, you can choose another way to vote. There are other options.

Top of page

I'm a member of the Canadian Forces. How do I vote?

There are special procedures for Canadian Forces voting.

Top of page

I'm serving a prison sentence in Canada. Can I vote?

Yes. As long as you're a Canadian citizen and will be at least 18 years old on election day, you can vote in your correctional institution. Registration and voting took place in correctional institutions on October 9.

Top of page

Can I take a selfie with my ballot?

No. Taking a picture of a marked ballot–yours or anyone else's–is illegal because it violates the secrecy of the vote under the Canada Elections Act. It's also a violation of the Act to publish a photo of a marked ballot in any way, including on social media.

Top of page

I'm a Canadian living abroad. How do I vote?

Canadians living abroad can vote by mail. However, the deadline to apply to vote by mail has passed. If you have applied and received a special ballot voting kit, be sure to return your marked ballot to us by 6:00 p.m., Eastern time, on election day.

Top of page

I'm homeless. How do I vote?

Eligible electors who are homeless or have no fixed address are welcome to register and vote.

Everyone who votes must prove their identity and address. Click here for the list of accepted documents that you can use to prove your identity and address.

Here are some of the ways you can prove your identity and address when you go to vote:

  • To prove your identity, you can show a piece of ID with your name on it, like a social insurance card (SIN card), birth certificate or Veterans Affairs Canada Health Identification Card.
  • To prove your address, you can show an official letter called a Letter of Confirmation of Residence. If you have gone to an establishment that offers food, housing or other social services, you can ask the administrator of the establishment for this letter.
  • You can also declare your identity and address in writing and have someone who knows you and who is assigned to your polling station vouch for you. The person vouching for you must be able to prove their identity and address. A person can vouch for only one person.

You can use our Voter Information Service to find your polling station. Go to our home page, and in the "My voter information" box, enter the postal code that appears on your Letter of Confirmation of Residence. You can also call Elections Canada toll-free at 1-800-463-6868 to find where your polling station is.

Top of page

I live in a long-term care facility. How can I vote?

Eligible electors who live in a long-term care facility may be able to vote at a mobile polling station in their residence.

Elections Canada offers mobile polling stations in most residences. If required, we transport the ballot box from room to room. Please contact your facility administrator to find out if mobile polling will be offered in your residence.

Everyone who votes must prove their identity and address. This page lists all the types of proof of identity and address accepted at mobile polls.

Here are some ways to prove your identity and address:

  • To prove your identity (name), you can show a piece of ID with your name on it, like a health card, social insurance card (SIN card), birth certificate or Veterans Affairs Canada Health Identification Card.
    • If you live in a long-term care facility, you can show photocopies of your proof of identity and address documents.
  • To prove your address, one option is to show a "Letter of Confirmation of Residence" This is an official letter from a long-term care facility that says "this person lives here." You can request this letter from the facility administrator. You can also use the yellow carbon copy of the “Application for Revision or Registration on the List of Electors” if one was completed by an election officer.
  • You can have someone who knows you vouch for your identity and address. The voucher must be able to prove their identity and address. The voucher may be an employee of your residence. The employee may vouch for more than one elector and must reside in the same electoral district or adjacent electoral district as the person being vouched for.

For more information, please contact Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868.

Top of page

I am temporarily hospitalized in an acute care facility. How can I vote?

Voting for electors in acute care hospitals ended on October 15. Electors who did not vote while in the hospital can still vote at their assigned polling station on election day, if they have returned home.

Eligible electors who are hospitalized during the election period could register and vote by special ballot from their hospital room sometime between October 13 and 15. Patients were advised in advance when special ballot voting would take place. An election officer would visit each room and would help patients fill out their application. They can also help the patient cast their ballot, if needed. Learn more about voting by special ballot.

To vote, all electors must prove their identity and address. See the options and a list of accepted ID to vote.

Top of page

How does Elections Canada accommodate electors who cannot vote using traditional voting options?

Returning officers set up additional service points in locations where electors were not able to vote using traditional voting options. This includes: electors working in isolated areas, such as mining and oil field camps or lighthouses, electors in acute care hospitals, as well as electors observing Jewish holidays that restrict them from voting on specific dates. These additional service points are no longer available, but electors can still vote at their assigned polling station on election day. To find your polling station, check your voter information card or use our  Voter Information Service.

Top of page

At the last general election in my province, I was able to vote at any advance voting location. Can I vote at any advance polling station at the federal election?

The rules for voting on advance polling days in the federal election differ from those of some provincial elections, where you can vote at any advance voting place in the province. You cannot do the same in the federal election. If you choose to vote during advance polling days, you must vote at your assigned polling station. To find your advance polling station, check your voter information card or use the Voter Information Service.

Top of page

At the last provincial election in British Columbia, I was able to vote at any polling station on election day. Can I vote at any polling station on election day at the federal election?

The rules for voting on election day in the federal election differ from those in a British Columbia provincial election. You cannot vote at any polling station in the province in the federal election. If you choose to vote on election day, you must vote at your assigned polling station.

Top of page