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What you need to know before you vote

Voters head to cast their ballot in Canada's federal election at the Fairbanks Interpretation Centre in Dartmouth, N.S., Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Voters head to cast their ballot in Canada's federal election at the Fairbanks Interpretation Centre in Dartmouth, N.S., Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/10/2019 (295 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Manitobans will get the results of a controversy-filled federal election campaign tonight — and along with them, relief after the campaign burnout of two consecutive races.

With less than 24 hours between the end of the provincial election on Sept. 10 and the start of the federal one on Sept. 11, politicians' promises have been published in the pages of the Free Press for the last 10 weeks.

The 43rd federal election gets underway Monday morning to elect 338 representatives to the House of Commons. Manitobans will elect 14 members of Parliament. Manitoba polls are open for 12 hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Twenty-one political parties have registered in the race. The four major parties include the Liberal Party of Canada, Conservative Party of Canada, New Democratic Party and the Green Party of Canada. Thousands of candidates are also running under other party banners or as independents.

Most parties have released detailed platforms on their official websites, which are listed at www.elections.ca.

To learn more about the candidates running to represent you, we offered all candidates the opportunity to tell our readers about themselves and their platforms.  Visit this page to search by candidate, party and riding. 

Am I eligible to vote?

Any Canadian citizen who is 18 or older as of election day, and can prove their identity and address with identification, is eligible to vote Monday.

Am I registered to vote?

If you fall into the above categories, you likely received a voter information card in the mail. Be sure to bring that card and your photo ID to your polling station.

If it's your first time voting, you may not be properly registered. You can check your registration status on the Elections Canada website or call 1-800-463-6868 for help.

If you're not registered to vote — or didn't get a voter information card from Elections Canada — you can still cast a ballot on election day. There are three ways to prove your identity and address.

You can take one piece of government-issued ID that has your photo, your name and your address (for example, a Manitoba driver's licence or treaty card). Alternatively, you can show two pieces of ID that show your name, one of which must also have your address (for example, your health card and a utility bill). Or, you can take two pieces of ID with your name and have a neighbour who is registered to vote in the same area vouch for you and your address. A list of acceptable ID is available on the Elections Canada website.

Where do I vote?

If you will be outside of the country or outside your home riding on Monday and have not cast a ballot in advance polls or by mail, the deadline has passed. The only way to vote now is in your riding at your assigned polling station on Monday. 

There are few exceptions — for instance, post-secondary students can vote on stations on campus. Elections Canada has also made arrangements for post-storm evacuees in Winnipeg and Manitoba Hydro workers still working to restore power to the province in the field come Monday. 

If you're not sure which riding you live in, or where you need to go to vote, go to the Elections Canada website and enter your address. Your federal riding will differ from the provincial constituency you cast a ballot for last month.

You can contact Elections Canada with any questions at 1-800-463-6868.

Do I get time off work to vote?

Employers are required by law to give eligible workers who are eligible voters three consecutive hours to vote on election day. The exact hours to be taken off are at the discretion of the employer.

If your regular work hours don't allow for three consecutive hours to vote, your employer could allow you to show up to work late or leave early. For example, if your shift is usually from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. your employer could allow you to show up a half-hour late, which would leave three consecutive hours for voting from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Or your employer could allow you to leave at 5:30 p.m., leaving three consecutive hours to vote before Manitoba polls close at 8:30 p.m.

Are polling stations accessible?

Voter information cards contain a list of accessible features at polling stations. This information is also available in the agency's Voter Information Service online or by phone. 

Polling stations will have either an automatic door opener or an Elections Canada staff member who can open the door.

Elections Canada provides voters with a variety of accessibility tools and services, including magnifiers, braille voting templates and large-print lists of candidates. Voters can also request assistance in marking a ballot as well as sign language interpretation.

If you cannot leave home and would like to vote there, you can also call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868. Voters who live in a long-term care facility may be able to vote at a mobile polling station in their residence. Elections Canada can answer questions about that as well. 

New address, new voter information, name spelled wrong?

No problem: if you have new personal information (such as a new last name) it can be updated online through the Online Voter Registration Service or by phone at 1-800-463-6868.

Any questions you may have can be answered by Elections Canada staff at the number listed above.

Can I post a selfie with my ballot?

No. Taking a photo of a marked ballot or publishing a photo of a marked ballot, even on social media, is illegal under the Canada Elections Act. If you want to share a photo of yourself doing your democratic duty, Elections Canada recommends taking a photo outside your polling station.

Will I get an 'I Voted' sticker?

Elections Canada is not offering 'I Voted' stickers to voters in this election. A spokesperson for the federal voting agency said the stickers weren't offered in the 2015 election, although they were offered as part of a pilot project during a federal byelection earlier this year.

— With files from the Canadian Press

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History

Updated on Monday, October 21, 2019 at 10:31 AM CDT: edits headline

The Winnipeg Free Press invites you to share your opinion on this story in a letter to the editor. A selection of letters to the editor are published daily.

To submit a letter:
• fill out the form on this page, or
• email letters@freepress.mb.ca, or
• mail Letters to the Editor, 1355 Mountain Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2X 3B6.

Letters must include the writer’s full name, address, and a daytime phone number. Letters are edited for length and clarity.

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