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Where, When and Why to Vote in the Canadian Election May 2

Where, When and Why to Vote in the Canadian Election May 2

After a whirlwind 5 week campaign, Canadians are set to go to the polls for the 41st Election on Monday, May 2. Here’s the nitty gritty about where, when, and why to vote.

In order to vote on May 2, you need to head to a polling station, and you need to be registered to vote in Canada. If you aren’t registered or aren’t sure, don’t worry: you can register just before you vote. You will need to prove that you’re a Canadian citizen over 18 years of age or older as of May 2, and you will need proof of identification and address. If you have already received a Voter Information Card, then you are registered to vote. You can simply follow the instructions on where to vote that were provided to you on that card.

Not sure what riding you’re in? You can check here for Elections Canada’s Voter Information Service and search by your postal code, candidates, province, maps, keywords or address. This tool tells you where your polling stations are located, who your candidates are, whether the polling station is accessible and the hours the polling station is open. It also provides a profile for your riding, information on the returning officer and results for your riding from previous elections.

Not sure when you’ll vote? By law, Canadian electors must have three consecutive hours available on Election Day to vote. If hours of work do not provide for three consecutive hours, your employer is obliged to work with you to make these hours available in order to vote.

Once the polls close, the ballots will be counted. Election results will be broadcast locally by an increasingly frenzied media as the polls close and vote counts are returned (although websites — and Twitter — may be muzzled until the last polls in the West are closed.)

Canada’s electoral system is based on the “First Past The Post” concept, meaning that the only vote you’ll cast tomorrow is for your local candidate. The candidate that gets the most votes will win the riding; the political party who wins the most ridings will be invited to form the next Canadian government. Given that the last three elections have resulted in minority governments, it is more important than ever that every single eligible voter casts a ballot. Here are the party platforms. If needed, you can find more information about your local candidates online.

Every single riding will make a difference in how this country will be governed after tomorrow.

And every single vote will make a difference in each riding.

I will vote. Will you? To find out more about the Canadian election, click here.

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Photo credit: alancleaver_2000 on flickr

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37 comments

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9:57PM PDT on May 4, 2011

Glad you northerners came to your senses.

6:42PM PDT on May 4, 2011

For the sake of Canadian animals, please get rid of Harper. He's not a caring person. He has the power to right the wrongs and drag Canada into the 21st century as far as animal welfare is concerned, but refuses to do so. It makes one think that he's taking backhanders. He's not well thought of in the UK and you do yourselves a diservice by electing him again. Please get rid of him. Then we can say 'Good riddance to Bad rubbish.'

9:31AM PDT on May 4, 2011

and they still voted him in.

6:39PM PDT on May 2, 2011

A shocker! The Prime Minister appears to have breken the Elections Act on election day:
http://www.examiner.com/canada-headlines-in-canada/stephen-harper-breaks-election-rules-campaigns-on-radio-on-election-day#ixzz1LEkKAQY7
How disillusioning!
Anyhow I have voted.

5:42PM PDT on May 2, 2011

Thanks for the reminders and the information. Believe it or not I just ran into an employee cashiering at the grocery store who didn't know that legally she was entitled to have enough time to vote even if it meant her employer had to give her time off work. Also, there are a number of young voters and brand new first time voters this time around, and information is welcome.

5:03PM PDT on May 2, 2011

I am afraid that we won't have a majority party and could be faced with another election two years from now!!

3:25PM PDT on May 2, 2011

And guess what Ernest? I don't really think that it's proper that racists, homophobes or sexists etc. vote to uphold those ideas, but it's called democracy for a reason.

Also, for all those who think that Canadians have a chance to "vote for Harper," I'd like you to be aware that the Governor General chooses the Prime Minister in Canada, not the people. All we do is elect MPs.

AND HELL YEAH I JUST VOTED!

3:02PM PDT on May 2, 2011

I s would love to have some form of proportional representation here. Maybe then I would actually be represented in my government. I am so anti Harper. He has destroyed my lovely country! If he wins a majority, he can do even more damage. Our global standing has gone way way down - no seat in the UN for us oh no. not with Harper's foreign policy alienating people. Remember people - he is not conservative he is Reform?Alliance. The PCs left the party in droves after McKay backstabbed David Orchard and joined with the Reform/Alliance.
Harper=Reform/Alliance in Conservative guise. Don't be fooled.

2:58PM PDT on May 2, 2011

Heavies at the polls are not Canadian style (may they never be), nor is the counting procedure (nudge) very fancy. But where there is an evil will there are ways - news coming in from Ontario and B.C. (where races are very close) such as was mentioned by a poster a few hours back - calls sending people to parking-lots instead of polling-places, etc.

The only good side is that the MSM is paying attention. If the actual fraudsters are not caught, at least who was deprived of his/her vote can be determined. Hope no seat is gained by this crime.

Lots of ways to know voting intent - most obviously lawn signs. In Toronto, some cars scratched and tires slashed from that knowledge.

Not necessary the Conservatives, but given their trickery with election funds last time, well, ....

2:25PM PDT on May 2, 2011

Mike and Janis B “We think Australia has the right idea” I don’t think so. I think the only people who should vote are those who have a good idea what the issues and the political parties’ platforms are. I certainly don’t want my thoughtful considered vote nullified by some illiterate newcomer who votes for a name he recognizes from back home.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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