Canadians wishing to vote by mail or at a polling station while away from their home ridings must apply by 6 p.m. ET Tuesday, Elections Canada says.

The registration application and special ballot form can be downloaded at www.elections.ca, said Grace Lake, spokeswoman for Elections Canada.

It can also be requested in person, by mail, by telephone or by fax from Elections Canada.

Lake said the deadline affects many students, many of whom are first-time voters while also living away from home for the first time.

"The only way they can do it, aside from going home, is to vote by special ballot," Lake told CBCNews.

Those who can vote by special ballot include:

  • Canadian electors temporarily away from their electoral districts during the election, whether in Canada or abroad.
  • Canadian electors in their electoral districts who cannot or do not wish to go to an ordinary or advance poll to vote.
  • Canadian citizens temporarily residing outside Canada.
  • Canadian Forces electors, including civilians employed as teachers or administrative support staff in Canadian Forces schools outside the country.
  • Incarcerated electors.

In all these cases, the voter must have a civic address for his or her place of ordinary residence in Canada, for electoral purposes. The person's vote will be counted for that electoral district.

Those who register by special ballot will not be able to vote at regular or advance polls.