Northwest Territories Territorial Election

The 2023 Northwest Territories general election will be held on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14 to elect Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs).

The Northwest Territories is divided into 19 electoral divisions. Each division has its own MLA to represent all the constituents in that district. MLAs prepare and pass laws related to the province. They hear from their constituents on provincial issues that matter to them as well. To find your electoral division, have a look at the Elections NWT Electoral District Maps.

To register to vote, check out the Northwest Territories Voter Registration resource.

The Basics

Am I eligible to vote?

To be eligible to vote in the Northwest Territories, you must be:

  • A Canadian citizen
  • A resident of the Northwest Territories for at least 6 months in a row by Voting Day
  • 18 or older by Voting Day

When and where can I vote?

On election day

You can vote in person on election day on November 14, 2023 from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM (Mountain Daylight Time) at the voting location assigned to you based on your current residential address. The easiest way to find out where to vote is by registering to vote or using Elections NWT’S Interactive Map

At the office of the Returning Officer 

You can cast your vote in person during the election period at the office of your electoral district’s Returning Officer, who is the primary contact person for voters and candidates in that district. You can do so during their office hours from Tuesday, October 24 to Saturday, November 11, 2023. To find out who your Returning Officer is, have a look at the Elections NWT Returning Officers resource. 

During advance voting 

Additional information on advance voting in each electoral district will be available on September 16, once the writs of election have been issued. The advance voting dates, times, and locations are determined by your electoral district’s Returning Officer, and are only available in communities that do not have a resident Returning Officer. 

Advance voting locations are commonly established in malls, community centres, libraries, work camps, universities, and other public buildings. 

At mobile polls

Mobile polls are administered from November 7 to November 10, and are available to those who may have difficulty attending a poll. You can request that your ballot be brought to you by your electoral district’s Returning Officer. 

You can apply for a mobile poll from October 31 to November 3.

Absentee ballots 

Avoid the crowds altogether and apply to vote by absentee ballot starting from October 3 to November 4, 2023 until 2:00 PM

Absentee voting can be submitted by mail, in which you will be mailed a paper ballot which need to be returned to the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, or online, in which you will receive an email with a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and a link to the Elections NWT website where you can cast your ballot online. Both forms of absentee voting need to be received by 8:00 PM on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 (Election Day)

Do I need to register to vote?

Yes! You do need to register in order to vote, however, you do not need to register in advance, meaning, you can register at the polling station on election day. We don’t recommend it though, as this might mean spending a little more time waiting in line.

Registering to vote or updating your information online is super easy. To register to vote, check out the Northwest Territories Voter Registration resource.

Do I need to bring ID to vote?

Yes!

You are required to prove your identity AND physical address. There are over 50 types of identification that can be accepted at the polling stations from your NWT Driver’s License to your Health Card and a utility bill.

Be sure to double check what kinds of IDs are accepted before you vote!

If you do not have sufficient ID (make sure to check the above list first as there are many acceptable ID options), you can have a registered voter in your district vouch for you, or if you personally know an election officer, you can prove your identity by personal acquaintance. 

In both cases, this can only be done when casting a ballot in the Office of the Returning Officer or at an advance poll, and you will need to take an Oath of Elector at the poll. 

You can learn more about what to do if you don't have an ID directly from Elections NWT under their “Vouching” and “Personal Acquaintance” resources.

How do I know who to vote for?

Choosing who to vote for can be really difficult! But we got you! You can follow Apathy is Boring on Instagram where we’ll break down everything you need to know about the upcoming election including who’s running and what they stand for.

What if...

I’m working on Election Day?

Government of NWT resource: https://my.hr.gov.nt.ca/human-resource-manual/0800-leave/0813-other-time-pay 

Voters are entitled to three consecutive, non-work hours to vote on an advance polling day, or on Election Day. 

If your work schedule can’t accommodate you to take three consecutive hours off, your employer must provide extra time off. 

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 12:30 PM to 8:30 PM, you still have three hours before your shift begins to vote (9:30 AM to 12:00 PM).

Your boss can't dock your pay or penalize you for taking the time to vote. You 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!

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!

You have four options:

1: Vote by mail! You can apply to receive an absentee ballot by mail on the Elections NWT website.

2: Vote online! You can apply to receive an absentee ballot by mail on the Elections NWT website.

3: Vote at an advanced poll! Additional information on advance voting in each electoral district will be available on September 16, 2023. 

4: Vote at a mobile poll! Mobile polls are available from November 7 to 10, 2023. You can request that your ballot be brought to you by your electoral district’s Returning Officer.

You can apply for a mobile poll from October 31 to November 3.

I’m a student living away from home?

If you’ve left your home address to study elsewhere within or outside of the Northwest Territories, you can vote using your old home address: if you can access your home district’s polling station, go there.

If you can’t make the trip, request an absentee ballot to vote by mail or online!

I live in a remote or isolated area?

Vote by mail or online! You can register for an absentee ballot online starting from October 3 to November 4, 2023 until 2:00 PM. For your vote to count, all ballots must be received before 8:00 PM on Election Day (Tuesday, November 14).

I’m living in an Indigenous community or reserve?

You can choose to vote by absentee ballot, or use Elections NWT’s Interactive Map to find your electoral district and corresponding Returning Officer.

I’m living abroad?

NWT residents living outside of the NWT apply to vote remotely by absentee ballot. Eligibility requirements are to: 

  • Be a Canadian citizen;
  • Be 18 or older by election day;
  • Have been a resident of the NWT for 6 months in a row as of election day

I recently moved?

 

You can vote in your new electoral district! Just bring a piece of ID and proof of your new address. The Registration Officer will look at your identification, prepare a Declaration of Elector for you to sign, and issue you a ballot.

You can also update your voter registration information using the Elections NWT Voter Registration form.

I’m currently without a home?

To support those living in treatment centers, emergency shelters, or community support centers, Elections NWT offers mobile polls from November 7 to 10. You can request that your ballot be brought to you by your electoral district’s Returning Officer. 

To vote via mobile poll you must reside, or access services from the support center. No identification is required, but a facility representative must confirm that you are a resident of or receiving services at that location.

I'm not old enough to vote yet?

16- and 17-year olds who are Canadian citizens and residents of the NWT can register as Future Voters to be automatically added to the Territorial Voters List when they turn 18. You can contact [email protected] to be added to the Future Voters List!


Election Resources

Elections NWT

Vote Mate