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FAQs – General Questions

Questions and Answers

What is my riding?

Canada is divided into 338 ridings (also called electoral districts). One representative, or member of Parliament (MP), is elected for each riding.

Each riding has a returning officer, who opens an office when an electoral event is called. The returning officer is responsible for organizing and administering federal elections and referendums in that riding.

You can find the name of your riding on this site by going to the Voter Information Service (type your postal code or search another way).


How many ridings are there in Canada?

There are 338 ridings in Canada, divided as follows:


How do I make a complaint about a violation of the Canada Elections Act?

If you have information about a possible violation of the Canada Elections Act, please write to the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections.

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How do I file a general complaint or give feedback on the conduct of a federal election?

To provide feedback on the conduct of an election, an election worker or another general matter, please use the online complaint form.

The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (Elections Canada) handles complaints that are not believed to be violations of the Canada Elections Act.

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How do I make a complaint about a misleading or inappropriate phone call?

Electors may get live or recorded phone calls ("robocalls"). If you believe you have received a call that was misleading or inappropriate, please write to the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections.

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Are political parties and candidates allowed to phone voters? Are they allowed to use "robocalls"?

Telephone calls to voters are legal and a normal part of campaigning. This includes live calls and "robocalls" (calls made using an Automatic Dialing-Announcing Device or ADAD).

Parties, candidates and third parties may call to:

Calls must comply with the Canada Elections Act, which (among other things) makes it illegal to:

Following changes to the Canada Elections Act in June 2014, there are new requirements for calling service providers who contact voters as well as for people or groups (such as political parties) who enter into agreements with such providers or who contact voters directly using their internal services or an ADAD. These include registration requirements, which are administered by the CRTC through the Voter Contact Registry.

As well, the CRTC's Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules apply to some unsolicited telecommunications made by or on behalf of political entities, including registered parties, riding associations, candidates and their official campaigns, as well as third parties.

I received a misleading communication – a call, text or letter with the wrong information about voting. What should I do?

If you get a robocall, live call, text, letter, e-mail or other type of communication giving you what you believe to be wrong information about voting, please contact Elections Canada as soon as possible. Use our online complaint form or call 1-800-463-6868.

We will:

It is illegal to willfully misdirect electors in order to prevent them from voting, whether it's done by live phone call, robocall, text, letter or some other manner.

If it appears an offence was committed under the Canada Elections Act, we may share the information you provide with the Commissioner of Canada Elections and, in some cases, the CRTC. Read more about the organizations we share information with.

Does Elections Canada call voters to tell them where to vote?

No. Elections Canada never phones, texts or e-mails voters to tell them where to vote or to say that a polling place has moved.

We inform all registered voters of where to vote by mailing them a voter information card. Cards should arrive in the mail around 18 days before election day. Voters can also contact Elections Canada or check our website's Voter Information Service to find out where to vote.

Does Elections Canada give voters' telephone numbers to political parties?

No.

By law, we supply voters' lists to political parties and candidates; the lists contain only the name, address and unique identifier number for each registered voter. Often, parties and candidates get voters' phone numbers from another source, like a commercial data broker.

What organizations are involved in administering and enforcing the Canada Elections Act?

Elections Canada administers federal elections. Other organizations also have a role:

Elections Canada sometimes shares information with other organizations. Which ones?

If Elections Canada has information about a possible offence under the Canada Elections Act, we may share it with the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections, the independent officer responsible for ensuring that the Canada Elections Act is complied with and enforced.

If we have information relating to the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules or Voter Contact Registry, we may share it with the CRTC.

We have signed memoranda of understanding with these organizations to govern our information sharing.

We may also disclose information on criminal activities to law enforcement authorities.

Do you have educational resources for schools?

Yes, Elections Canada offers two election simulation kits for schools. They provide a realistic experience of voting, based on actual federal election procedures.

The kit Canada at the Polls! is intended for grades 5 and up. Choosing Our Mascot is for younger children from kindergarten to Grade 4.


How do I order educational resources?

You may order Elections Canada's free educational resources:

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