Registering to Vote in the Federal Election in Canada

How to Register to Vote in the Canadian Federal Election

Updated: 03/31/11

National Register of Electors

Elections Canada keeps a permanent National Register of Electors from which preliminary lists of voters are drawn up. The National Register of Electors is maintained using a number of different sources, including federal income tax returns.

Preliminary Voters Lists

Returning officers update the preliminary voters lists during the revision period of an election.

The revision period starts three days after the election writ is issued and ends six days before election day.

Door-to-Door Revision

Elections Canada revising agents may carry out door-to-door revision in targeted areas of ridings, such as in a new residential subdivision, where a high rate of change in elector information is expected. If revising agents don't make contact after two visits, they will leave a voter registration kit.

Voter Information Cards

For a federal election, Elections Canada will send you a Voter Information Card (VIC) if your name is on the preliminary voters lists. The card will tell you that you are registered, and where and when to vote.

For the 2011 Canadian federal election, a Voter Information Card will be mailed to all registered voters between April 8 and April 13, 2011. If you don't receive a Voter Information Card by April 15, 2011, or if the information on your Voter Information Card is incorrect, contact your local returning officer.

Adding Your Name to the Voters List

There are several ways to add your name to the voters list for the 2011 Canadian federal election.

  • Contact your local returning officer.
  • You can register at the advance poll. You must show a government document with your photo, name and address, such as a drivers licence, or two pieces of identification from an authorized list, one with your name such as a social insurance number card, and one with your name and address, such as a hydro bill. If you don't have acceptable pieces of identification, you can also be vouched for by an elector whose name appears on the voters list in the same polling division and who has acceptable ID. Both of you will need to make a sworn statement.
  • You can also register at the polling station on election day, although Elections Canada advises you to register before then. You must show valid identification as described for registering at an advance poll.

To find the address of your returning office, the date and location of advance polls in your riding and the polling station on election day, check your Voter Information Card you receive in the mail or use the Elections Canada Voter Information Service. If you still have difficulty locating your returning office, call Elections Canada at 1-800-INFO-VOTE (1-800-463-6868). People who are deaf or hard of hearing can call TTY 1-800-361-8935.