Your questions about the 2021 federal election answered!

Who can vote?

To vote, you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen
  • Be at least 18 years old on election day
  • Be able to prove your identity and address

More information on voter eligibility can be found on Elections Canada’s website.

When and where can I vote?

There are several different ways you can vote:

  • Vote on election day – September 20, 2021
  • Vote by mail (You must apply by 6:00pm on September 14)
  • Vote at an advance poll – September 10, 11, 12, and 13, 2021
  • Vote at your local Elections Canada office by 6:00pm on September 14

More information on how to vote can be found on Elections Canada’s website.

When is election day?

Election Day is currently set for Monday, September 20, 2021.

What do I bring to go vote?

When going to vote, you should bring:

  • Voter registration card (if you have one – if not, you can register once you arrive at the polling station)
  • Your ID
  • Your proof of address (this is only necessary if you are using an ID with no address, or if you plan to vote in a riding that is not affiliated with your permanent address [i.e. voting in the riding you live in for school])

More instructions about what ID and proof of address you will need are available on the Elections Canada website.

Who am I voting for?

When you vote in a federal election, you are voting for your local Member of Parliament (MP), who will represent you in the House of Commons in Ottawa. Though you do not vote directly for the Prime Minister of Canada, your vote indirectly has an impact on this role. The political party whose MPs win the most seats (i.e. fill the most positions) in the House of Commons will form government and appoint their leader as the Prime Minister.

Am I registered to vote? If not, how do I register?

Elections Canada has a quick and easy online tool, available here, that can help you ensure you are registered to vote.

If you are registered, Elections Canada’s tool will show you the address at which you are registered. If that’s not your current permanent address, you can change it to reflect where you currently live.

If you are not registered, you can also use the Elections Canada tool to register yourself in the riding associated with your address.

How do I prove my identity and address?

You have three options to prove your identity:

  1. Show either your driver’s license OR any other card issued by a Canadian government (federal, provincial/territorial or local) with your photo, name and current address
  2. Show two (2) pieces of identification that include your name, with at least one of the pieces of identification having your current address on it.
  3. If you do not have identification, you can declare your identity and address in writing and have someone who knows you and who is assigned to your polling station vouch for you. The person vouching for you must be able to prove their identity and address. A person can vouch for only one person (except in long-term care institutions).

More information on how to prove your identity and which pieces of identification are accepted is available here on the Elections Canada website.

Can I still vote if I didn’t register?

Yes! If you didn’t register to vote in advance, you can register at a polling station when you arrive! Make sure to bring your ID and proof of address. (See “how do I prove my identity and address”)

Which address do I use to vote?

As a student, you have the unique ability to vote using either your permanent home address (i.e. where you live when school is not in session – for example, your parents house or wherever you live during summer or study breaks) or your current address while in school (i.e. where you live when school is in session – for example, your residence or off-campus rental apartment). The address you choose will determine which riding (local area) you will vote in and which candidates you can vote for.

To vote in the riding associated with your permanent home address, you must vote either by mail, or at an Elections Canada office (asking for a special ballot when you do so).

Can I Vote by Mail? How does it work?

Any eligible voter can choose to vote by mail rather than traveling to a physical polling station. Once you apply, Elections Canada will mail you a special ballot voting kit, along with a set of instructions outlining how to fill it out. Voters must then place their ballot in the provided envelope, sign the outer envelope, and mail it back to Elections Canada (it is free to mail your ballot).

It’s also important to remember that Elections Canada must receive your mail-in ballot by Election Day, so be sure to fill out as soon as possible after you receive it. CASA recommends that you put your ballot in the mail no later than 7 days before Election Day.

DISCLAIMER: Once you apply to vote by mail, you are no longer eligible to vote at a physical polling station or Elections Canada office.

How do I register to Vote by Mail?

Vote by Mail applications open once an election is officially called.

You can register for your Vote by Mail kit on the Elections Canada website.

How do I Vote at Advance Polls?

Voting at advance polls is very similar to voting on Election Day, only earlier!

Advance polls are held on the 10th, 9th, 8th and 7th days before an election day.

You can vote at your assigned polling station from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm on:

  • Friday, September 10;
  • Saturday, September 11;
  • Sunday, September 12;
  • Monday, September 13

How do I Vote at an Elections Canada office?

After an election is called, Elections Canada sets up local offices in every riding across Canada.

You can vote in person at any Elections Canada office across the country until the 6th day before election day.

To vote at an Elections Canada office, you must complete an application and fill out a Special Ballot. Staff can help you with the application, if you would like. You must be able to show proof of your identity and address when you arrive.

Once your application is complete and accepted, Elections Canada staff will give you a special ballot voting kit. You can fill it out then and vote on the spot, or, if you prefer, you can leave and come back to the office to submit your vote later.

The address of Elections Canada offices are available online or by calling Elections Canada.

Is there a "Vote on Campus" program this year?

No. Elections Canada decided to suspend its “Vote On Campus” program during the 2021 federal election.

Elections Canada begins planning for a potential election months before an election is officially called. Elections Canada decided to suspend the “Vote On Campus” program early this year when they were initially planning for a potential spring election. At that time most post secondary schools were only offering virtual classes and many campuses were closed.

While planning for a potential fall election they considered reinstating the program but determined that it was not logistically feasible given the short writ period and uncertainty surrounding the return to campus that many schools were still facing.

What is the difference between the “Vote On Campus” program and voting on campus at an advance or election day poll?

The “Vote on Campus” program allowed students (or anyone) to cast special ballots at locations run by Elections Canada for candidates running in any electoral district where the voter lived.

Students, like all voters, must vote at their assigned polling location at advance polls and on election day. This location is based on where students reside (see above). In some cases, Elections Canada set up advance and election day polling locations on campuses. These could be used by voters (including students) who lived near them and were assigned to this polling place.

Will there be voting locations on campus in the 2021 federal election?

Yes, where Elections Canada is able to find locations that meet their accessibility requirements and that don’t require voters to demonstrate their vaccine status, they will have polling locations on campus.

As is the case for all advance polling and election day locations, these locations will only be for voters who are assigned to this location based on where they live.

Still have questions? Reach out to us directly, or call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868!

Contact Us

Want more information about how to vote in the federal election or CASA's Get Out The Vote? Contact us using the form to the right and we'll do our best to answer your questions.

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