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Voting by Mail While Inside or Outside Canada

Register to Vote by Special Ballot (Vote by Mail)

Eligible Canadian electors may apply to vote by special ballot. With a special ballot, you can vote by mail from anywhere in the world.

A general election will be held on October 19, 2015

If you are eligible to vote and would like to vote by special ballot, apply as early as possible. Allow time for your application to reach us, for a special ballot voting kit to be sent to you, and for your marked ballot to return to Elections Canada.

Your application must reach Elections Canada by 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday October 13, 2015.

Your marked special ballot must reach Elections Canada by the deadline, 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday October 19, 2015, or it will not be counted.

To apply, start by answering a few questions. We will provide an application form tailored to your situation. Complete the form and submit it to us with copies of your supporting documents.

Click the button below to get an application form and instructions on how to apply.

Get a special ballot application form >

The application form is best viewed with the latest version of Adobe Reader.

Reinstatement of the “five-year rule” and the requirement for an intention to return to Canada to reside

On July 20, 2015, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned an earlier ruling regarding voting by Canadians abroad. As a result of this decision, electors who want to be on the International Register of Electors and vote by special mail-in ballot from abroad must demonstrate that they meet two additional criteria:

  • They must confirm that they intend to return to Canada to reside by providing the date on which they intend to resume residence in Canada, and  
  • They must confirm that they have resided abroad for less than five consecutive years, or provide proof that they fall within one of these exceptions to the five-year rule:
    • They are employed outside Canada in the federal public administration or the public service of a province – or live with someone who is;
    • They are employed outside Canada by an international organization of which Canada is a member and to which Canada contributes – or live with someone who is; or
    • They live with a member of the Canadian Forces or with a person who is employed outside Canada by the Canadian Forces as a teacher in, or as a member of the administrative support staff for, a Canadian Forces school.

Elections Canada will contact people on the International Register of Electors to ask them to update their application to provide the required information and/or proof. In the meantime, anyone with questions is invited to contact us.

By fax:
1-613-998-8393, from anywhere in the world,
1-800-363-4796, toll-free in Canada and the United States

By mail:
Elections Canada
Special Voting Rules
440 Coventry Road
P.O. Box 9830 Station T
Ottawa, ON, K1G 5W7

By e-mail:
(please note that Elections Canada does not offer a secure network for e-mail transmissions):

Learn more