Did you receive two voter cards? It doesn't mean you get to vote twice

If you happen to receive two voter cards, using them both is an offence.

Voting twice or using someone else's card are offences, deputy cleark warns

How and when you vote in Waterloo Region for the Oct. 22 municipal election depends on where you live. But you can't vote twice. (Getty Images)

Voter cards are either about to be sent out or may be already in the mail, which means Waterloo region residents will know how, where and when to vote in the Oct. 22 municipal election.

How you cast your ballot will depend on where in the region you live:

  • In Kitchener, Waterloo and Wilmot voters will go to a polling station to mark their paper ballots.
  • In North Dumfries, Wellesley and Woolwich people will be voting online or by phone.
  • In Cambridge people have a choice: vote online or by phone, or go to the polls.

A voter in North Dumfries reported to CBC that they received two voter cards. The person said their name is on both cards, but they contain different PIN numbers to be used when casting a ballot online or by phone.

In nearby Woolwich, Jeff Smith, deputy clerk, said while steps are taken to avoid duplicate cards going out, it can happen. He told CBC if a person receives two cards they should call their clerk's office.

"Make sure we know. We will disable one of the letters and we'll make sure we tell you which one that is and then you can use the other letter to vote and we'll also make sure our list is updated accordingly," he said.

System can catch dual votes

If someone were to try to vote twice, Smith says they have a way to detect that.

"Our system actually shows any duplicate electors that we have," he said.

"There are also ways to audit the system when people are actually voting, to make sure we catch any dual votes," he added.

"There is a lot of onus on people to make sure they don't vote beforehand [or] twice, but we'll also be following up if we do find any instances of people who have voted twice."

Smith says if people receive voter cards that don't belong to them, for example for a previous tenant who has moved away, they should strike out the address and write "return to sender" on the envelope.

"Anything like taking someone else's card, tampering with the mail, those are offences either under the Criminal Code or under the Municipal elections Act," Smith added.

The municipal election day is Monday, Oct. 22. For those casting paper ballots, the polling stations are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In most of Waterloo Region, online and telephone voting gets underway October 9 and runs until 8 p.m. on Oct. 22.

In Cambridge, online and phone voting ends at 7:59 p.m. on Oct. 22.


  • An earlier version of this story indicated the clerk for North Dumfries declined to speak to CBC K-W about duplicate voter cards. In fact, in communication with CBC, the clerk declined to be interviewed.
    Sep 27, 2018 12:45 PM ET