Let’s start this fun adventure at the very beginning…
Are you registered? Usually you can do this when you file your taxes. Elections Canada actually has an easy online tool to use if you’re actually not sure if you’re registered or not.
Pro Tip: you must vote in the riding you list on your tax form. If you’re living away from that address, and can’t make it back for election day, you may vote by mail…which you have to apply to do. (I know, I know. But let’s work with what we have right now.)
Can’t get to a polling station? There are options for you. If you’re living abroad, if you’re currently displaced, fighting for Canada overseas (thank you so very much), or any number of other circumstances that make voting difficult, Elections Canada has you covered, check their site for a simple list of options. (And if you’re still struggling with those, contact those candidates who are asking for your vote, they better be willing to help.)
You’re busy. When can you vote? Oh Elections Canada has given you so many options, lucky you! Hate crowds? Try the advanced polling days- usually in the few weeks before the official election day, you’re given a location to go to and cast your vote. Too impatient? I like an overachiever. You my friend can go to any Elections Canada Office before 6:00pm on October 13th and cast your vote. They’re even open 7 days a week, will wonders never cease?!
You barely remember where your keys are. What do you need to bring to vote? You gotta prove you’re who you say you are. Bring along your driver’s license or any other government photo ID- key is it has to have your name, photo and address. Failing those, you must show a combination of pieces of identification which cover these factors. There are like one billion options or something, so chill out, you probably have at least two of these somewhere.
Pro Tip: Your Voter Information Card that comes in the mail from Elections Canada is not considered ID. You can bring it to verify address, but you’ll still need picture ID.
Ugh. How long is this gonna take? I’ve timed it each time I’ve voted. The longest it ever took me is when I had to wait in line behind a grand total of three people. That time from my car to the booth and back to my car took FOUR ENTIRE MINUTES. I go after work, I bring my three kids, and then I go home and make dinner. Done. Here’s where I rant a little that so few people actually vote in our country!! that it takes no time at all to vote. I hope it takes you longer because there’s tons of people in line. I would weep of the beauty.
Pro Tip: You’re not allowed to campaign at the polls. You’re not allowed a loudspeaker within hearing distance of a polling station to promote for or discourage from any candidates. (For serious. I read the Elections Act, it’s in there.) You cannot bring in or post any propaganda of any kind at a polling station. I once forgot to take off a pin for a Provincial vote and was kindly asked to remove it.