Canada's electoral authority hopes to clear up some recent misunderstandings about what identification voters must bring to polling stations, with officials saying people have a range of ID options.
Concerns about voter ID surfaced last week, when some worried voters in remote northern communities said they may not have the proof of identity now required at polling stations for the Oct. 14 federal vote.
At the time, an Elections Canada official had suggested polling officials would have the power to show discretion in remote communities where people have trouble producing proof of address or photo IDs.
But Elections Canada now says that is not the case, stressing that the voter ID rules are flexible only in that they provide electors with a variety of ID options, not just photo identification.
Everyone is required to present proof of identity, spokesman John Enright told CBC News on Wednesday.
"Voter ID is a new requirement at this election, it hasn't occurred in [the] past," Enright said.
"We want to make sure that people understand that the act is very clear: all electors must provide ID."
However, voters without any identification can be vouched for by another voter, according to Elections Canada.
The full list of identification options is available on Elections Canada's website.
Changes made to curb voter fraud
Starting in 2007, the federal Elections Act changed to require all people to show identification before they vote in federal elections. The changes were made in an effort to curb voter fraud.
The voter ID requirements concern Western Arctic NDP MP Dennis Bevington, who said voter turnout may be affected in places where identification has not been needed before.
"I don't think that voter fraud is the biggest issue in Canada," Bevington said. "The biggest issue in Canada is voter apathy, and this is going to make it more difficult for people to vote."
But Enright said Elections Canada is offering voters more options in what kind of ID they can use, so long as it establishes their name and address.
1 piece of photo ID or 2 pieces of other identification
Proof can be in the form of a single piece of government-issued photo ID, like a driver's licence, or two pieces of non-photo ID that show name and address when combined, like a health card and a utility bill.
Voters who don't have any identification can be vouched for by another person who is registered in the same polling division.
Enright urges all voters to get registered on the voters' list early, to ensure they are registered to cast their ballots come Oct. 14.
"Towards the end of this week we're going to begin sending out, to every single elector that's registered on the list of electors, what's called a voter information card," he said.
"Electors who, by the middle towards the end of next week, who have not received a voter information card from us … they should contact Elections Canada and find out how they can get their name added to that register of electors."
The Elections Canada toll-free phone number for voters is 1-800-463-6868.