Election Day 101: Questions and Answers on the Voting Process

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TORONTO – Canadians will go to the polls on Monday to elect members of the 44th Parliament.

If you plan to vote on polling day, you will need to make sure you go to the correct polling station and bring the necessary identification.

Here’s what you need to know before you go to your polling station.

HOW CAN I FIND MY VOTING OFFICE?

Information about your polling station can be found on your voter information card. If you do not have a voter information card, you can find this information on the Voter Information Service on the Elections Canada website, as well as the list of candidates running in your riding.

WHEN ARE THE VOTING OFFICES OPEN?

The polling stations are open for 12 hours. The opening and closing times are different according to time zones in order to allow the results to arrive at about the same time across the country.

In the Atlantic provinces, polling stations open at 8:30 a.m. and close at 8:30 p.m. local time. In the Eastern time zone, which encompasses almost all of Quebec and Ontario as well as part of Nunavut, polling stations are open between 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.

In Manitoba, as well as parts of Nunavut and northwestern Ontario that are under Central Time, polling stations are open between 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. People living in Saskatchewan, Alberta, the Northwest Territories and parts of British Columbia under Mountain Time may vote between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. For the Yukon and the rest of British Columbia, the polling stations are open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The ridings of Labrador, Gaspésie – Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Kenora, Thunder Bay – Rainy River, Kootenay – Columbia and Nunavut span several time zones. If you live in one of these electoral districts, please check your voter information card or the Voter Information Service on the Elections Canada website for the opening and closing times of your polling station.

WHAT TYPE OF IDENTITY SHOULD I BRING?

Elections Canada requires voters to prove their identity and address. You can bring your driver’s license or any other government issued card that contains your name, photo and address.

If you don’t have a photo ID that contains your address, you can bring two pieces of ID as long as at least one contains your current address. The Elections Canada website has a list of all accepted identification documents, which includes utility bills, bank statements, student cards, health cards, library cards and more.

Otherwise, you can still vote if someone who knows you and is assigned to the same polling station as you can vouch for you by written statutory declaration. The voucher must have its own ID to prove identity and address and can only guarantee one person, except in long-term care facilities.

AM I REGISTERED TO VOTE?

Most Canadians are automatically registered to vote by filing taxes. You can use the Elections Canada tool Online voter registration service to check if you are registered.

If you are not registered to vote or need to update your address, you can register at your polling station on polling day. To speed things up, you can use the online voter registration service to print your registration certificate, but this step is not required.

WHAT PRECAUTIONS AGAINST COVID-19 IS ELECTIONS CANADA TAKING?

In provinces and territories that have mask warrants, voters will be required to wear a mask unless they have a medical exemption.

Those with a medical exception will not be required to provide proof except at polling stations located in schools in Alberta that require proof of exemption.

If you forget to bring your own mask, masks will be available at the polling station. If you refuse to wear a mask and do not have a medical exemption, you will be refused access to the polling station. This does not apply to the Yukon and Nunavut, which do not require residents to wear masks indoors. It’s from an old article, right?

All poll workers will wear masks or face shields and surfaces will be wiped down regularly. Polling stations will also have plexiglass barriers, single-use pencils, hand sanitizing stations and physical distancing.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 on polling day, you should ask your local public health authority what to do. If your test is positive, Elections Canada says you will not be able to vote.

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