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Voting Services in Long-term Care FacilitiesCEO Appearance on the Special Report of the Chief Electoral Officer: Administering an Election during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Fact Sheet

Key Messages

  • As a result of COVID-19, regulations limiting access to long-term care facilities are constantly evolving and differ from province to province.
  • Election administrators will require significant flexibility to serve local facilities safely.


  • Statistics Canada figures indicate that there are approximately 5,500 nursing homes and community care facilities for the elderly in Canada.
  • Elections Canada officials have begun engaging with federal, provincial and local public health authorities, and will monitor the situation in order to respect the regulations regarding access to long-term care facilities.
  • The Canada Elections Act authorizes the administration of "mobile polls" to serve multiple long-term care facilities on polling day and to proceed room-to-room where necessary within facilities. 
  • Flexibility is required to extend the operation of these polls over multiple days during the writ period:
    • to avoid visiting different facilities on the same day, by the same election officers
    • to accommodate the requirements and schedules of facility administrators, and
    • to allow for time-consuming room-to-room voting services, thereby avoiding gatherings in common areas
  • Staffing voting operations within long-term care facilities will be challenging and may require facility staff or volunteers to be trained as election officers in order to administer the vote within their facilities.
  • If access to long-term care facilities is prohibited, special ballot voting will be possible, though difficult given ID requirements and the complexity of the special ballot voting process.