#ELXN2021

44th Federal Election

What Even Happened?

The Liberals won the most seats but at 160, Justin Trudeau will once again lead a minority government. The Conservatives won 119 seats making them the Official Opposition again. The Bloc Quebecois are third with 32 seats, followed by the NDP with 25 and the Green Party with 2.

17,209,000 Canadians cast a ballot in the 2021 election, putting voter turnout at 62.5%.

The Basics

Who are we electing?

In Canada, there are 338 different electoral districts (a.k.a. ridings). You are voting for a candidate to represent you and your riding as one of 338 Members of Parliament in the House of Commons in Ottawa. 

To find your riding, click here.

Am I eligible to vote?

To be eligible to vote in Canada, you must be:

  • 18 or older by Voting Day
  • a Canadian citizen

Where and when can I vote?

On Voting Day - MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
Every voter is assigned a voting place depending on where you live. Check your Voter Information Card for the location and address, or look it up at Elections Canada.

Advance Polls - FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 TO MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
You don't need any reason to vote in advance and sometimes it's just nice to get voting done early! Your Voter Information Card should include information on where your voting station is for these dates. There's a chance it's not the same as your Voting Day location so double check. Also voting places might not be open during all days of the advance voting period.

At an electoral office - Any time before TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2021
If you can't wait to vote, you can do it right now! Offices are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. They are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during advance voting. See the full list of district electoral offices.

Vote by mail
Usually for voters who are away from Canada during the election but also a very popular option during the pandemic. You don't need to give a specific reason! But you do need to apply for a vote-by-mail package. Request that here.

Do I need to register to vote?

Yes! You can do it in five minutes right here.

However, even if you didn't register before the online portal closes, you can still vote. All you need to do is bring ID with you to the polling station on Election Day, during advance voting, or at the district electoral office. They'll register you on the spot!

Why bother? Registering ahead of time saves you time at the voting station. You'll also get a Voter Information Card that tells you exactly where and when to vote and what to bring with you. Democracy made easy!

Do I need to bring ID to vote?

Yes!

If you have a Driver's License, or any other card issued by a Canadian government (federal, provincial/territorial or local) with your photo, name and current address, that's all you need!

If you don't have one of those, head to Elections Canada to see their very very long list of what you can bring to prove your identity.

What's being done to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at polling stations?

Everything we've come to know about handling COVID-19 is being used to make sure voting is safe. That includes hand sanitizer stations, markings to encourage physical distancing, and reduced poll workers who will sit behind a plexiglass shield. All Elections Canada workers will also be wearing masks.

Voters are being reminded to bring a mask and your own pencil to mark your ballot. Both are in our VOTE SURVIVAL KITS!

Check out this link for more info.

Can I work for Elections Canada?

Of course you can! Elections Canada is actually hoping younger Canadians will step up and work the polls as the threat of COVID puts older folks (who usually work at voting stations) at risk. There’s a long list of jobs available. Check it out here.

What if...

I’m working on Election Day?

Voters are entitled to three consecutive hours free from work to vote during advance voting or on Voting Day.

This doesn't mean you get to just take off from work for three hours though. It just means you have to be given a window of three hours to vote at some point during the day. So if you work from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM, you still have three hours before your shift begins to vote (8:00 AM to 12:00 PM).

Your boss can't dock your pay or penalize you for taking time to vote. You actually have to be paid your regular wage for the hours you're not working while you vote. Have that conversation with your employer now as they have the right to decide when you get your time off!

For more info on Time off Work for voting, click here.

I can’t make it to a polling station on Election Day?

If you already know you're going to be busy or away on vacation (lucky you) on Election Day, make a plan to vote early!

Advance voting days are September 10-13.

You can also vote now at any electoral district office. Find the nearest one to you here!

I’m a student living away from home?

If you're a student, you can register and vote in either the riding where you live while going to school or the electoral district you usually live in when you’re not at school (like maybe with your parents). In either case, you need to be registered to that riding and have ID to show you live there.

I am Indigenous and/or live on a First Nations reserve?

Where you vote depends on where your reserve is. Elections Canada has increased the amount of polling stations on reserves and the number of voting days.

It's also made election info available in more than a dozen Indigenous languages. Check it out here.

I’m living abroad?

If you're away from Canada during the election, you can request a vote-by-mail package. Actually, you don't need any reason to vote-by-mail and it's a good option if you're also playing it safe with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Request your package here.

I recently moved?

Let's say you just moved and the address on your Driver's License isn't up to date yet. No worries!

Look up where to vote at the Elections Canada website and bring proof of your new address. They'll update your registration for you and let you vote right away.

I’m currently without a home?

In order to vote, you have to register. But folks who are homeless may not have a permanent address. So what do you do? You can use the address of a shelter, hostel or similar place that provides food, lodging or other social services.

When you vote you also need to show ID, which can be a challenge for homeless people. If you don't have any physical ID, you can declare your identity and address in writing and have someone you know vouch for you. 

The voucher must be:

  • a registered voter resident in the riding you want to vote in, OR
  • a spouse, parent, grandparent, adult child, adult grandchild or adult sibling of the voter, OR
  • a person with the authority to make personal care decisions for the voter
I'm not old enough to vote yet?

We're thrilled that you're already excited to vote even though you can't this year.

If you're 14-17, you can register as a future voter and be added to the voters list on your 18th birthday.

Otherwise, you can talk to eligible voters in your life about what you care about and why they should vote. Encourage them to use their voices to support you, themselves and your community!


Election Reading

Vote Compass - CBC

Promise Tracker - Global News

Election Platform Guide - Maclean's

Compare Promises by Topic - VoteMate

Compare Platforms here too! - Pollenize

Environment and Climate Change Platforms - Shake Up the Establishment

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