How to vote in the federal election today

It's election day. Here's everything you need to vote today, plus information about getting time off work.

Everything you need to know to cast your ballot on election day

Monday is election day across Canada. Polls are open from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Michelle-Andrea Girouard/CBC News)

Every Canadian citizen 18 and older who lives in the country has the right to vote today — but not everyone does.

In the last federal election, only 61.4 per cent of Canadians voted. Manitoba dipped below the national average with 60.3 per cent voter turnout.

"If you look at the poll-by-poll data," said Josh Brandon of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, "in some of [Winnipeg's] inner-city areas, often under 25 per cent [of the electorate] are out voting." That means thousands of Winnipeggers are not exercising their right to vote.

After the Fair Elections Act was passed last year, stricter voting rules are in effect. It's now no longer possible to vouch for another voter's identity and the government banned the use of Elections Canada voter registration cards as identification. 

Brandon worries this may turn even more disenfranchised voters away from the polls.

"For a lot of people, it is a huge issue," he said. "If you have a driver's licence [voting] is super easy … [but if you do not], you're having to piece together this or that.… It's unclear for people."

To make it voting rules more clear, CBC Manitoba created this cheat sheet for voting day:

What do I need to bring with me to vote?

Even if you are already registered, voters must prove two things at the polling station: their identity and their address. A Manitoba driver's licence, for example, is enough to prove both these things.

If you do not have a government photo ID with a current address, such as a driver's licence, you must show two identification documents. One of these two documents must contain your address. Elections Canada's website lists dozens of potential pieces of identification that can be used at the polling station, including: a health card, a utility bill, a written statement from a homeless shelter or a mortgage contract. 

Voters who do not have a document containing their address can ask another resident from their riding to vouch for their residency at the polling station. The individual without proof of address must still present two forms of personal identification. 

Where do I vote?

Every voter can cast a ballot today in their home riding. If you are already registered, Elections Canada should have already mailed you an information card containing the address of your polling station. If you did not receive this card in the mail or it had incorrect information, Elections Canada makes it easy to find out where your polling station is on their websitePolling stations are open today from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

But I have to work...

Unless you work in the transportation industry, all Canadian employees have the right to three consecutive hours off work to cast ballots today. The employer can decide which hours.

Who do I vote for?

CBC's Vote Compass is a helpful tool in sorting through where the five major parties stand on various issues, from immigration to marijuana laws to poverty reduction. Canadians have used the tool more than 1.5 million times this election.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?