With the 43rd federal election only weeks away, campaigns are in full swing and Canadians are paying close attention to candidate platforms, preparing to cast their ballots on Oct. 21.
But not everyone will be able to make it to the polls that day, and some are voting for the first time. Here’s what Greater Victorians need to know to cast their vote this election.
What you need
In order to vote, you must be a Canadian citizen and be at least 18 years old on election day. Voters must also prove their identity and address in order to cast their ballot. Electors can ensure they are registered to vote using Elections Canada online or by visiting an Elections Canada office.
You can also register to vote at your assigned polling station on election day (Oct. 21) or on advanced polling days.
How to vote
Vote on Oct. 21.
The voter information card mailed to your home address will provide the location of your assigned polling station, as well as the hours the poll will be open. For most of B.C., polls are open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Elections Canada’s Voter Information Service provides information on electoral districts, candidates and polling places.
Using the special ballot process, you can cast your vote at your advance polling station Oct. 11-14 from 9 a.m.- 9 p.m. To find your advance polling station, check your voter information card or use the Voter Information Service.
You can also vote at any Election Canada office anytime before Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. In Greater Victoria, there are four office locations: University Heights Shopping Centre (3970 Shelbourne St.), Gateway Village in Saanich (771 Vernon Ave.), Elections Canada office in Langford (2401 Millstream Rd.) and the Gallery in Brentwood Bay (1528 Stelly’s Cross Rd.).
Advanced polling is also available at the University of Victoria student union building 201 between Oct. 5 and Oct.9.
Advanced voting requires a special ballot process. Election workers at the voting sites will require proof of identity and will add, update or confirm your information. After receiving a ballot and instructions, you can ask for a list of candidates for your riding if you need it.
After marking your ballot, you’ll be given two envelopes, put the ballot in the unmarked inner envelope and seal it, then put that envelope in the outer envelope and sign the declaration on the outside.
Then envelope is then placed in the ballot box.
Vote by mail
To vote by mail, Canadians can apply online or visit any Elections Canada office before Tuesday Oct. 15 at 6 p.m.
After applying, a special ballot voting kit is sent in the mail. In order to cast your ballot in time, applications must be made by Oct. 15 at 6 p.m.
Other ways to vote
Members of the Canadian Forces have special procedures for voting which include voting on your base at a military voting station as a CF elector.
Voters can also cast their ballot at their retirement or long-term care homes, in acute care facilities and in correctional institutions.
Electors with other voting needs may be able to access additional service points for people who can’t use traditional voting options.
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