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Ottawa municipal election 2018: When and where to vote

On Monday, Oct. 22., the polls will open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. sharp. The Canadian Press Images / Nathalie Madore

One mayor, 23 city councillors and 37 school board trustees: Less than three weeks remain before Ottawans learn the names of all 61 individuals who will represent them in those capacities from 2018 to 2022.

READ MORE: Ottawa municipal election 2018: Who’s in and who’s out?

If you’re one of the 633,946 residents the City of Ottawa says is eligible to vote on Monday, Oct. 22, you don’t actually have to wait until that day to cast your ballot.

Read on for details on when and where to vote, and information on what to bring and expect at the polling station.

Special advance voting

If you’re the early bird type, you can vote as soon as this Thursday, if you wish. The city has organized a special advance voting period from Oct. 4 to Oct. 7. During this four-day stretch, eligible electors can vote at any of those six stations from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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If you don’t vote between Oct. 4 and Oct. 7, you will have to vote at a specific location in your ward.

Advance voting

Traditional advance voting takes place on one day only: Friday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Check the voter notification card you received in the mail or use this online tool on the city’s website to find out where you are allowed to vote on Oct. 12, based on your address.

READ MORE: New website allows Ontarians to see if they are eligible to vote in municipal elections

Nine of the 268 polling stations open on Oct. 12 will be located in seniors’ residences and long-term care facilities.

Election Day

On Monday, Oct. 22., the polls will open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. sharp.

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Again, check the voter notification card you received in the mail or use this online tool on the city’s website to find out where you are allowed to vote on Oct. 22, based on your address.

Out of the 350 polling stations open on Election Day, 106 are located in seniors’ residences and long-term care facilities.

Who can vote?

If, on Oct. 22, you are a resident of Ottawa, a Canadian citizen and at least 18 years old (and not prohibited from voting by law), you should be good to go.

If you aren’t a resident, you are allowed to vote if you are a landowner or tenant in Ottawa, or the spouse of a landowner or tenant in the city.

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: Should Canada’s voting age be lowered to 16?

For students in Ottawa, the city’s advice is this: “If you … consider your ‘home’ to be the place where you live when you are not attending school, which means you plan on returning there, then you are eligible to vote in both your ‘home’ municipality and in the municipality where you currently live while attending school.”

What to bring

In order to vote, you have to show up at the polling station with a piece of identification that shows proof of your name and your Ottawa address.

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Your voter notification card cannot be used as a piece of ID, but the city says it’s helpful if you bring it as well. A list of documents that elections staff will accept as identification at the polls is available here.

You are not required to present photo ID to vote in this election.

What to expect

If there’s any chance you might be darting to the polls at the last minute, make sure you’re physically in the voting station by 8 p.m., otherwise, staff won’t let you in – even if you’re only a minute late.

If you don’t like your options in this municipal election and want to decline your vote, you still have to go to a polling station to do so.

All voting locations will be fully accessible, according to the City of Ottawa.

READ MORE: Ontario’s appeal court sides with Ford government, paves way for 25-ward Toronto election

The city says every station will be staffed with at least one person who speaks French. Polls in areas with a larger French-speaking population will have more.

There will be 125 accessible ballot-marking devices available across the city for eligible voters with disabilities.

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The city says the public can expect to receive unofficial election results on ottawa.ca by no later than 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 22

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