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Politics

Canada election: Here’s what you need to know to vote

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Voters head to the ballot box on Oct. 21. They will decide whether to reelect Justin Trudeau’s Liberals or will choose another party to form the next government of Canada.

READ MORE: Real-time results in the Canadian election

Here’s everything you need to know to vote in the 43rd federal election:

Read this guide in the following languages:

Who am I voting for, and where do I vote?

Each voter will cast a ballot at a specific polling station, which is identified on their voter information card. Elections Canada will also have a list available here of verified polling stations and their locations.

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To find a list of the candidates running in all 338 ridings, click here.

Who can vote?

In order to vote you must be:

– a Canadian citizen

– 18 or older

– able to prove your identity and address

To check if you’re registered to vote, click here.

If you aren’t registered now, you can do so at the polling station in person with the proper documents.

What documents do I need?

In order to vote, you need to prove your identity and address. Here are the two ways to do that:

Bring your driver’s licence or any ID that shows your photo, name and address and that has been issued by a government (federal, provincial or municipal).

Show two pieces of ID that show your name. At least one of these must show your current address. For example, you could show both a passport and utility bill. You can find a full list of accepted IDs here.

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What do I do if I don’t have ID?

According to Elections Canada, you can still vote without ID by declaring your identity and your address in writing and by having someone vouch for you. That person must be able to prove their identity and address.

READ MORE: What federal leaders have pledged on health care

When can I vote?

Here are some of the days when you can vote in the federal election:

– Vote in your polling location on election day, Oct. 21, 2019.

– If you can’t make it on election day, advanced poll locations will be open on Oct. 11, 12, 13 and 14.

These locations will be printed on your voter information card.

– You can vote in person at any Elections Canada office until Oct. 15 with a special ballot.

You can also vote by mail as long as you apply before 6 p.m. ET on Oct. 15.

Voting hours across Canada on election day (all times local):

Newfoundland Time: 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

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Atlantic Time: 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Eastern Time: 9:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Central Time: 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Mountain Time: 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Pacific Time: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

READ MORE: What federal leaders have pledged on the economy

Can I get time off work to vote?

Under Canadian law, every employer must give employees three consecutive hours while polls are open to vote on election day without reduction in pay.

Voting information for the homeless

If you are experiencing homeless and stay in a shelter, you can use the address of the shelter as your home address. If you live on the street, you can use the address of a shelter or soup kitchen where you receive services as your home address.

To prove your address, you’ll need to get an official from the shelter or soup kitchen to fill out a letter of confirmation of residence for you. If you don’t have an ID, you can get someone to vouch for you, but they need to have their own valid ID with current address.

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Federal political parties promising help for homebuyers
Federal political parties promising help for homebuyers

Voting information for students

Students who live in two places must decide which place they consider home for the purposes of the election. Whichever place that is, they should register to vote using that address.

If you’re studying abroad, you can vote by mail.

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Can I vote if I’m a Canadian citizen living abroad?

Yes.

You can click here to get on the international voters’ register, and a voting kit will be sent to you.

How many seats does a party need to win?

A party needs 170 seats in Parliament in order to win a majority government.

A minority government is won by a party that gets fewer than 170 seats but still has more seats than any other party.