Voting requirements across Canada

Proposed act will make federal elections more restrictive than most provinces and territories

CBC News Last Updated: April 12, 2014

The Harper government is proposing to get rid of vouching in federal elections and to include in its Fair Elections Act a prohibition on the use of voter identification cards, which are not on the current Elections Canada list of approved ID.

"We just think it's reasonable that people bring some form of ID when they show up to vote," Pierre Poilievre, the minister responsible for the act, said.

Read more:

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Election vouchers and vouchees share their stories

The proposed act will put federal elections out of step with most provincial and territorial elections on the the issue of voter identification. All provinces except Manitoba and Nunavut allow vouching or oath-taking for an elector without ID at the polling station. But most voters in both those jurisdictions don't need to present ID in order to vote.

Only British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories require all voters to present proof of address at the polling station, although all three allow vouching.

Marc Mayrand, Canada's chief electoral officer, has said that the proposed bill “probably makes Canada the most restrictive regime in terms of proof of ID at the poll."

The map below shows where proof of address is required and where voters without ID can cast their ballots by taking an oath or having someone vouches for them.

Hover over a province or territory name for more


Sources: Elections Canada, provincial and territorial elections authorities