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The 36-Day Election Calendar

Calendar format – PDF

The government is responsible for calling federal elections and by-elections. An election period must be a minimum of 36 days; there is no maximum length set by law.

Typical 36-day calendar of activities
(amended for longer election periods)
Day Activity
Ongoing Registration. Electors can check, update or complete their registration online.
Day 36 The election period begins. Electors can apply to vote by mail.
Day 34 Local Elections Canada offices open.
Electors can register and vote there. Candidates can start filing their nomination papers.
Day 33 The preliminary lists of electors are sent to parties and candidates.
The spending limits for third parties, and preliminary spending limits for registered parties and candidates are available.
Day 29 The revision of the lists of electors begins.
Days 26 to 24 Voter information cards are mailed to registered electors. The cards say when and where to vote, and show the accessibility of polling places.
Day 21 Candidates have until 2:00 p.m. local time to submit their nomination papers.
Day 19 The lists of candidates are available.
Day 17 An election reminder brochure is mailed to all households.
The preliminary spending limit is available for each individual party. It is based on the number of confirmed candidates.
Day 16 The revised lists of electors are sent to parties and candidates.
Days 10 to 7 Advance polls are open from noon to 8 p.m. local time. ID is required to vote.
Day 7 The final spending limits for parties and candidates are available.
Day 6 6:00 p.m. Registration closes until election day.
It is also the deadline to vote at an Elections Canada office or apply to vote by mail.
Day 5 The official (polling day) lists of electors are sent to returning officers, candidates and political parties.
Day 5 to 0 Unregistered electors can complete a registration certificate online, print it and bring it to their polling station on election day for faster service.
Day 0 Election day. ID is required to vote.
Voting hours vary across the country.
Electors can register at the polls.
The deadline to receive mail-in ballots at Elections Canada headquarters is 6:00 p.m.
The preliminary results are provided throughout the evening.
Days -1 to -7 Returning officers validate the results.