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Revision of the Lists of Electors

Elections Canada produces preliminary lists of electors for federal elections, by-elections and referendums, using information from the National Register of Electors. Returning officers then update the lists for each riding during the revision period.

The National Register of Electors is a database of Canadians who are qualified to vote. It contains basic information about each person – name, gender, date of birth, address, and unique identifier. The Register may also be used to produce lists of electors for provinces, territories, municipalities and school boards that have signed agreements for that purpose, as permitted by the Canada Elections Act and provincial statutes.

The revision period usually begins 33 days before election day. This 28-day period ends at 6:00 p.m. on the sixth day before election day.

During the revision period, electors may:

Correcting name and address information

Between the 26th and the 24th days before election day, each returning officer sends a voter information card to every person in the electoral district whose name is on the preliminary lists of electors.

If the name or address on the card is incorrect, the elector may contact the returning officer in person or by telephone, fax or mail to make the correction. In most cases, the returning officer will ask the elector for additional information as proof of identity.

Adding your name to the voter's list

An elector who does not receive a voter information card or who knows that he or she is not registered in the electoral district may ask the returning officer for a registration form in person, or by telephone, fax or mail. The elector then returns the completed form to the returning officer in person, or by fax or mail.

If the elector is not listed in the National Register of Electors, he or she must provide documents proving the elector's identity and address:

An elector may register:

Deleting a name

An elector, or a friend or relative of an elector, may apply to the local Elections Canada office to have the elector's name removed from a list of electors. Usually, such a request is made when someone is not qualified to vote, or when an elector who is a friend or relative has died. Proof of identity and proof of death, when applicable, are required.


One elector may file an objection against another, disputing the right of that person to be on the lists of electors for the electoral district. The objector must file an affidavit of objection with the returning officer between the issue of the writs and the 14th day before election day. The returning officer then formally notifies the person against whom the objection has been filed, and the candidates in the riding, and convenes a hearing. The person objected to, his or her representatives, the objector and candidates' representatives may attend. The onus is on the objector to establish that the name of the person objected to should be deleted.

Targeted revision

In consultation with the Chief Electoral Officer and other partners, the returning officer may determine that certain areas of an electoral district – especially new residential developments, areas known for high population mobility, student neighbourhoods, nursing homes and chronic care facilities – should be subject to targeted revision.

Starting in the second week of the election period, pairs of revising agents visit the targeted addresses. Electors thus have an additional opportunity to register. After two visits without reaching an elector, the agents will leave a mail-in registration package at the door.

For chronic care facilities, revising agents will visit electors in person to collect applications for registration.

The Act entitles revising agents to gain access to apartment buildings, condominium buildings or other multiple-residence buildings or gated communities unless the building's administrator believes that residents' physical or emotional well-being could be harmed.

Registering to vote after the revision period ends

To have your name added to the voters list at the polling station, you must prove your identity and address. You can do this in one of three ways:

Eligibility to vote

An elector must be registered and prove his or her identity and place of residence using one of the three accepted methods before he or she can vote. An elector is eligible to register if he or she is:

For a by-election, an elector must reside in the electoral district from the 33rd day before election day (the day on which revision begins) to election day.

January 2008