Am I registered to vote?
vast majority of electors are registered in the National
Register of Electors, which is used to produce the
preliminary voters lists for federal elections, by-elections
and referendums. If you voted in the last general election,
you may be registered to vote at the address where you
lived at that time. Elections Canada updates the Register
from a number of sources, so if you have moved since then,
your address change may also have been
I recently moved. Am I still registered to vote?
you have recently moved, your name will still be registered,
but you may need to update your address. Elections Canada
updates the National
Register of Electors from a number of sources, so
your address may have been updated already.
I'm a new citizen. How do I register to vote?
a new citizen, you should have completed the application
for citizenship through Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
You are registered to vote if you checked off the consent
box on the application, consenting to be added to the
Register. You will receive no further confirmation.
Who is entitled to vote?
are entitled to vote in federal elections and referendums
if you are a Canadian citizen, and will be 18 or older
on polling day. See also section
3 of the Canada Elections Act.
you are an elector (a person who is eligible to vote)
and have been living away from Canada for less than five
consecutive years since your last visit home, you are
eligible to vote under The
Special Voting Rules. You can register to vote
at any time just follow this link.
electors who are serving a prison sentence in a Canadian
correctional institution, have the right to vote in federal
elections and referendums. For details, see Voting
by Incarcerated Electors. You can also consult
the October 31, 2002 press release on voting
rights of incarcerated electors.
How is the Register updated?
Register is updated using the following sources:
and territorial motor vehicle registrars
Customs and Revenue Agency
and Immigration Canada
and territorial vital statistics registrars, and provincial
electoral agencies with permanent lists of electors
(e.g. British Columbia and Quebec)
supplied by electors when they register to vote or revise
their information during and between federal
electoral lists from other Canadian jurisdictions
Why should I vote?
vote is the way you choose someone to represent you in
Canada's Parliament. By expressing your choice, you are
exercising a democratic right that is key to the democratic
process of government that generations of Canadians have
fought to build. For more information, see A
History of the Vote in Canada.
Can I still vote if I checked "no" on my tax
Yes, you can still vote if you checked "no"
on your tax form. A "no" on the tax form does
not remove your name from the National
Register of Electors. The purpose of this box is to
ask permission to update or add your entry in the Register.
you voted in the last general election, you will still
be listed in the Register.
If you have moved since then, you may have to update your
address to make sure your name appears on the voters list
at your new location.
Can I register to vote while I'm away from Canada?
who will be away from Canada on election day or during
the advance polls can register to vote by special mail-in
ballot. For details, see the backgrounder, Voting
by Special Ballot, where you will find information
on eligibility, how to register and how to vote.
How do military personnel vote?
personnel vote under the Special Voting Rules. If you
have completed a Statement
of Ordinary Residence
(SOR), you will receive a special ballot voting kit
after an election is called. Once you have voted, it is
your responsibility to ensure your ballot arrives in Ottawa
by 6:00 p.m., Ottawa time, on polling day. You may mail
the ballot yourself, or, in most cases, you will have
the option of leaving it with the deputy returning officer
on the base to forward by special arrangement.
more information, see the backgrounder, Voting
by Special Ballot or the backgrounder, Voting
by Special Ballot for Canadian Forces Electors.
What is a Statement of Ordinary Residence?
Upon joining the Canadian Forces, a member completes a
form called the Statement
of Ordinary Residence (SOR). The address given
on this form determines the riding for which your vote
you have completed the SOR, you do not have to register
to vote by special ballot. You will automatically receive
a special ballot voting kit during an election.
How do I change my Statement of Ordinary Residence?
may change your Statement
of Ordinary Residence (SOR) at any time. It's
easy to do.
the Department of National Defence coordinating officer,
who will have the necessary forms on file.
out the form.
the form with the coordinating officer, who will forward
it to Elections Canada.
Can a person who is homeless vote?
Yes, an elector who is homeless or without a fixed address
can vote, if he or she registers on the voters list during
an election. To register, the elector must provide proof
of identity and the address where he or she is staying.
of identity can be an official document bearing the elector’s
name and signature. For residence, the address of a local
shelter is acceptable, if the shelter has provided food,
lodging or other social services in the last 24 hours.
Without such proof, a person who is homeless can register
on election day by taking the prescribed oath as to identity
and residence, as long as another voter who is registered
in the same electoral district can vouch for that person.
I'm currently serving a prison sentence. Can I vote? When?
Section 4(c) of the Canada Elections
Act provides that every person who is emprisoned in
a correctional institution serving a sentence of two years
or more is not entitled to vote.
as a result of the constitutional challenge in the Supreme
Court of Canada's decision in Sauvé v. Canada (Chief
Electoral Officer) section 4(c) is of no force
or effect. Therefore, all incarcerated persons are now
entitled to vote.
more information, please consult Elections Canada's press
release of October 31, 2002.
Can I vote in the federal election if I am a British citizen?
In 1970, amendments to the Canada
Elections Act restricted the right to vote to
Canadian citizens, although British subjects eligible
to vote as of June 25, 1968, kept their right to vote
What is my electoral district?
Canada is divided into 308 electoral
districts. One representative, or member of Parliament
(MP), is elected for each electoral district.
electoral district has a returning officer, who opens
an office when an electoral event is called. The returning
officer is responsible for organizing and administering
federal elections and referendums within that electoral
can find the name of your riding on this site either by
inputting your postal code or in other ways. Follow
What measures are in place to ensure the secrecy of the
are printed on special paper stock. The number of sheets
sent to printers and returned by them is closely controlled.
ballot paper is divided into three detachable parts: the
ballot itself, the counterfoil and the stub, which stays
attached to the ballot book. The stub and counterfoil
have a matching serial number printed on them. The serial
number is strictly a temporary control mechanism used
to ensure that the ballot given to the elector is the
same ballot that is given back to the deputy returning
officer. The serial number does not appear on the ballot
itself, and it is not registered anywhere with the voter’s
procedures at the polling station also ensure the secrecy
of the vote. When electors enter the polling station,
they present themselves to the deputy returning officer
for their polling division. The poll clerk then checks
to determine that each elector’s name appears on the voters
list for that poll. Once an elector is confirmed to be
on the list, the deputy returning officer removes an initialled
and pre-folded ballot from the book – with its counterfoil
still attached – and instructs the elector to go behind
the voting screen, mark the ballot in secret and return
it, folded, to the same deputy returning officer.
deputy returning officer takes each ballot that is returned,
without unfolding it, and checks that it is the same initialled
ballot that was presented to the elector. The serial number
on the counterfoil must match the serial number on the
stub remaining in the book.
satisfied that the ballot is the same that was presented
to the elector, the deputy returning officer removes and
discards the counterfoil and returns the still folded
ballot to the elector. The elector places the ballot in
the ballot box, or asks the deputy returning officer to
an elector has voted, the poll clerk places a check mark
in a column next to that elector’s name on the voters
list, indicating that the elector has voted, and crosses
the elector’s name from the list.
elector leaves the poll.
163 of the Canada Elections Act states that "The
vote is secret."
further protect the secrecy of the vote, subsection 164(1)
of the Act states that "Every candidate, election officer
or representative of a candidate present at a polling
station or at the counting of the votes shall maintain
the secrecy of the vote." Contravening this provision
is an offence under the Act.
Canada does not collect or hold data on how any individual
elector has voted.