Federal election 2015: What you need to know to vote on Monday

Here's a cheat-sheet for what to bring, and when and where to go, to cast a ballot in the federal election on Monday.

Canadians go to the polls on Oct. 19

Calgary polling stations will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. local time on Monday. (CBC)

The longest federal election campaign in Canadian history, and possibly one of the tightest, comes to a close on Monday.

Here's a how-to guide to make sure your voting experience goes smoothly in an election where every ballot could make a difference.

What to bring:

  • 1 piece of ID if it's a driver's licence, provincial or territorial ID, or any other government-issued card with your name, picture and current address.
  • OR: 2 pieces of other ID, such as a passport, library card or credit card statement — so long as one of them has your current address. 
  • Elections Canada suggests voters bring their voter identification card; however, it's not mandatory and it does not qualify as a piece of identification. 

Where to go:

When to vote:

Here are the hours polls are open, depending on time zone. Elections Canada says the hours are staggered so that results will come in at roughly the same time — leaving little time for eastern results to influence western voters.

  • Pacific Time: 7 a.m. — 7 p.m.
  • Mountain Time: 7:30 a.m. — 7:30 p.m.
  • Central Time: 8:30 a.m. — 8:30 p.m.
  • Eastern Time: 9:30 a.m. — 9:30 p.m.
  • Atlantic Time: 8:30 a.m. — 8:30 p.m.
  • Newfoundland Time: 8:30 a.m. — 8:30 p.m.

Federal law requires almost all employers to provide their employees three consecutive hours to cast a ballot on election day. However, if you work a shift such as 7:30 to 3 p.m., which leaves time to vote, then your employer is not required to give the time off. It is an employer's right to decide when time off will be given, according to Elections Canada. By law, an employer can't deduct pay for time off to vote. The penalty for violating the act is a maximum fine of up to $2,000 or three months in prison.