The Humane Society of Canada would like to urge everyone to exercise their rights as citizens of Canada to vote in the upcoming Federal Elections on May 2nd, 2011.
The Humane Society of Canada is providing this information in a non-partisan fashion by providing links directly to Elections Canada and other government websites to assist Canadians from all walks of life in exercising their democratic right to vote.
Elections Canada describes itself as "an independent, non-partisan agency that reports directly to Parliament ensuring that Canadians can exercise their democratic rights to vote and be a candidate". Please visit their website which has comprehensive details in 27 languages and 11 aboriginal languages at www.elections.ca
While the links and information found on this page are to Elections Canada's website - for up-to-date information and accuracy please visit Elections Canada website at www.elections.ca
Election day is:
Monday, May 2, 2011 from 9 am to 9 pm
Why Should I Vote?
Your vote is the way you choose someone to represent you in Canada's Parliament. By expressing your choice, you are exercising a democratic right that is key to the democratic process of government that generations of Canadians have fought to build.
For example, Student Vote, a non-partisan group that partners with Elections Canada www.elections.ca says that: "A central component of a healthy democracy is the participation of its citizens in the electoral process. Many argue that voting is the most basic responsibility of our citizenship."
"Yet, the decline in electoral participation has been a phenomenon observed in many western democracies throughout the past two decades. Specifically in Canada, voter turnout reached an all-time low of 59 percent in the 2008 federal election.
It has become increasingly evident that this trend can be attributed to low levels of electoral participation among young Canadians."
Elections Canada reports that this is illustrated by the fact that less than 4 out of 10 citizens aged 18 to 24 cast a ballot in the 2008 Canadian federalelection (ie. 37.4%) and in the 2006 election about the same number (i.e.43.8%) and in the 2004 election even less (i.e. 37%).
Attending a joint launch event with Student Vote, Marc Mayrand, Elections Canada’s chief electoral officer said: “If young Canadians had voted in the same proportion (as the 55 to 64-year-olds) ... there would have been 800,000 more counted votes in the last election. The average riding in Canada is about 77,000 electors.”
Student Vote believes that one of the best ways to approach this challenge is to reach young Canadians early in life and give them an opportunity to cultivate the habits of informed and engaged citizenship.
Young Canadians should graduate high school with the interest, knowledge and skills necessary for effective citizenship. They must know why to vote, how to vote,and most importantly have a strong enough faith and commitment in their democracy that no matter happens, they don't give up on it."
How Can I Vote?
- In person on Election Day
- In person at your local Elections Canada office to vote by special ballot
- By Mail by special ballot - To do this you must register first and then mail in the ballot that they send you. Elections Canada must receive your registration by 6:00 pm April 26th, they must then receive your ballot no later than May 2nd, 2011.
What Riding (Electoral District) Do I Belong To?
In order to find out what riding you belong to click on this link which will take you to the Elections Canada website and enter your postal code – this will tell you what political riding (area) you live in.
What Candidates Are Running in my Area?
Once you have entered your postal code Elections Canada's website will give you your riding – you can enter the riding on our Canditates Directory which we have compiled using data from Elections Canada. This will give you all of the canditates in your riding as well as their phone number and party affiliation.
Alternatively, if you are on the Elections Canada website if you click on the link “who are the candidates in my area” on the right side of the screen and you can view all of the candidates and their party affiliations.
How Do I Contact My Candidates?
Once you have entered your postal code Elections Canada's website will give you your riding – you can enter either the riding or the Candidates name on our Candidates Directory which we have compiled using data from Elections Canada. This will give you the canditates in your riding with their phone number and party affiliation.
Alternatively, if you have entered your postal code Elections Canada's website will give you your riding – if you click on the link “How do I contact the candidates in my electoral district?” on the right side of the screen – you will find the phone numbers for all of the candidates in your area. Some candidates may also provide websites, emails, addresses or other contact information. Watch your local news media for information concerning local debates and presentations.
Where Do I Vote?
Enter your postal code in this link on the Elections Canada Website and it will return the Voting (Polling) location in your area, and their hours of operation. You will also get the address and hours of operation to the Elections Canada office where you can go and register to vote by special ballot between Tuesday, April 26 and Monday, May 2nd, 2011.
Eligible people who live in hospitals and facilities that provide long-term care may have the extra option of voting at a mobile voting (polling) station in their residence. Elections Canada offers mobile voting (polling) stations in some residences and hospital wards. If required, they transport the ballot box from room to room to facilitate voting. To find out if there will be mobile polls in your residence, ask the administrator or call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868 or for people who are deaf or hard of hearing: TTY 1-800-361-8935 or visit here.
Elections Canada also provides transfer certificates to provide transportation on election day for people who use wheelchairs or who have other physical disabilities to vote at facilities that provide level access if, in exceptional cases, their own voting (polling) sites do not provide such access. For more information call Elections Canada 1-800-463-6868 or for people who are deaf or hard of hearing: TTY1-800-361-8935.
How Do I Find Where I Vote?
Go to a mapping tool website like mapquest.ca. Click on the "get directions" link, and you can type in your address and the address of your voting (polling) centre.
Who is Eligible to Vote in the Federal Election?
You may vote in this federal election if you:
- are a Canadian citizen
- will be 18 or older on election day, Monday, May 2, 2011
- are registered to vote
Am I Registered to Vote?
Most electors are already registered in the National Register of Electors (the Register), a database of Canadian electors who are qualified to vote in federal elections and referendums. Elections Canada will send a voter information card to registered electors between April 8 and April 13, 2011. If you have not already received your voter registration card, please follow the steps below:
How Do I Register?
- Call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868
- visit your local Elections Canada office before 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26, 2011
- go to your election day polling place on Monday, May 2, 2011
You'll be Asked the Following:
- to fill out a form (you can return it by mail, by fax or in person at your polling place)
- certify that you are a Canadian citizen who will be 18 or older on election day, Monday, May 2,2011
- prove your identity and address (list of proof of identity and address accepted at Elections Canada offices and list of proof of identity and address accepted at the polls)
Information for Seniors
Please consider volunteering to help seniors living in your neighbourhood or contact your local church, community centre, retirement or nursing homes to find out how you can volunteer to help seniors vote. Please visit Elections Canada's website.
You have ideas. You have plans. You have beliefs.
For information on how to vote visit Elections Canada's website.
For more information on how youth can become more active by involving themselves, their families and their fellow students in the voting process; and prepare themselves for the day when they become 18 and eligible to vote check out Student Votes.
Information for People With Special Needs
Elections Canada's goal is to ensure that all electors have access to information on the products and services available to help them exercise their right to vote: http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=spe&document=index&lang=e
Eligible people who live in hospitals and facilities that provide long-term care may have the extra option of voting at a mobile polling station in their residence. Elections Canada offers mobile polling stations in some residences and hospital wards. If required, we transport the ballot box from room to room to facilitate voting. To find out if there will be mobile polls in your residence, ask the administrator or call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868 or for people who are deaf or hard of hearing: TTY 1-800-361-8935 or visit here.
Elections Canada also provides transfer certificates on election day to permit persons who use wheelchairs or who have other physical disabilities to vote at facilities that provide level access if, in exceptional cases, their own polling sites do not provide such access. For more information call Elections Canada 1-800-463-6868 or for people who are deaf or hard of hearing:TTY 1-800-361-8935.
Information for Aboriginal Voters
Please visit Elections Canada's website which has comprehensive details in 11 aboriginal languages (in the order they appear on Elections Canada's website) including Inuktitut, Michif, Mohawk, James Bay Cree, Oji-Cree, Plains Cree, Nisga'a, Gwich'in, Ojibway, Mi'kmaq and Montagnais (Innu) at www.elections.ca.
Information for Voters from Ethnocultural Communities
Please visit Elections Canada's website www.elections.ca which has comprehensive details in 27 languages (in the order they appear on Elections Canada's website) including Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Croatian, Farsi (Persian), German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog (Filipino), Tamil, Ukranian, Urdu and Vietnamese.
Canadians Travelling in Canada and Travelling and Living Abroad
Canadian electors can apply and excercise their right to vote from anywhere in the world.
- For Canadians who are living abroad, find our more information here and Voting by Special Ballot for Canadians Living Abroad
- For Canadians who are travelling or studying away from home in Canada, find out more information here.
Additional information for Canadians abroad can be found at one of the Canadian Government Offices Abroad
Members of the Canadian Armed Forces
For our men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces, more information on how to vote can be found here.
Family members living with Canadian Forces personnel stationed overseas cannot vote under the special voting rules for Canadian Forces electors. They can, however, vote by special ballot.
Voters With No Fixed Address
Eligible electors who have no fixed address are welcome to register and vote. Click on this link for more information.
Learn about the results of past federal elections and by elections for your riding from 1996 to present on Elections Canada's website.
The Elections Canada website also has page of statistics on Voter Turnout since 1867 for Federal Elections and Referendums.
The History of the Federal Electoral Ridings since 1867 is a unique electronic resource that provides information on the electoral history of Canada since Confederation. Included you will find the names of all the candidates to all the federal elections as well as a description of all the ridings. Users can search by riding name, name of a candidate, political party, general election, and by-election, or even do a full text search on the description of a riding. The use of "see" references at the beginning and at the end of the description of the riding allows users to follow the history of a riding throughout the changes made to its boundaries.