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Privacy at Elections Canada

Elections Canada is committed to transparency in everything we do, especially when ensuring that Canadians can exercise their democratic rights to vote and be a candidate, as well as have the opportunity to work during an electoral event.

Why we collect personal information

We mainly collect personal information to help you exercise your right to vote, be a candidate or work during an election. We have authority to collect personal information under legislation, including the Canada Elections Act, the Privacy Act and the Financial Administration Act. We collect personal information from many sources, including:


Other ways we collect personal information

We also collect personal information through our social media accounts, our websites (elections.ca, inspirerlademocratie-inspiredemocracy.ca and electionsanddemocracy.ca) and our subscription services. Electors also provide personal information directly when they contact us by telephone, regular mail, email or online, or when they become our suppliers.

How we keep personal information safe

The Privacy Act and the Canada Elections Act govern how we use and disclose personal information. The Canada Elections Act also states how we can share and use the list of electors (or voters' list). The Guidelines on Use of the Lists of Electors explain what information is shared with members of Parliament, political parties and candidates; when it is shared; how they are authorized to use it; and their responsibility to safeguard this information. We also follow applicable Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) policies and directives, such as the Policy on Privacy Protection and the Directive on Privacy Practices which more specifically explain how the information is protected.

For more information, go to Facts about voter information and privacy.

Security

We take security very seriously and work hard to always keep your personal information secure. We work closely with government security partners to be as secure as possible and develop our practices based on their expert advice.

Our cyber security program is based on directives and best practices established by federal security agencies. It is continuously monitored. Controls are in place to ensure that only certain Elections Canada staff can access systems containing personal information.  All headquarters staff are screened and trained on privacy and security practices that are aligned with Government of Canada security policies, as well as field staff who have access to sensitive personal information, such as financial information. Elections Canada contributes to election security by also implementing "security by design"—that is, making security a foundational part of every new IT system or process that we develop. We are training employees and field staff on how to safeguard information.

Correcting or accessing your personal information

You can update or correct the information we have about you through our online voter registration service or by contacting us. You can also request your personal information through our Access to Information and Privacy office. For more information, go to Access to Information Request.

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Electors

What personal information we collect from electors

We collect personal information such as name, address, date of birth and gender to update the National Register of Electors. This information is in the personal information bank (PIB) Voter Registration and Identification. More information on how we collect, use and share your personal information is available here.

We also collect additional personal information from any elector who votes by Special Ballot during an election or referendum. The information collected is in the PIB Special Voting Rules.

How we collect personal information from electors

We collect personal information from you directly at the polls and when you register to vote. We also collect personal information if you vote by special ballot and send us an Application for Registration and Special Ballot form and supporting documentation. In addition, we continually receive information from many sources to update the National Register of Electors.

What elector personal information we share with external parties

In accordance with the Canada Elections Act, we share information from the National Register of Electors, such as names, addresses, gender, dates of birth, and unique identifier numbers, with external parties including electoral agencies and the Commissioner of Canada Elections. You can ask us to not share your information with other electoral agencies.

The Canada Elections Act requires us to provide the voters lists (containing electors’ name, address and unique ID only) to political entities (members of Parliament and registered political parties) every year and during an election (to candidates and political parties).


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Political Participants

What personal information we collect from political participants

We collect personal information from political participants. This information is in the following personal information banks (PIB):

How we collect personal information from political participants

We collect candidate information mainly through the nomination paper and the electoral campaign return.

We also collect personal information from political entity officials when they apply to register a political party.

Please see the Political Participants page for further information.

What political participant personal information we share with external parties

We share political participant personal information with external parties in a few ways:

The personal information of Political Participants may be shared with the Commissioner of Canada Elections, and information about officials may be recorded in the Registry of Political Parties, the Opinions, Guidelines and Interpretations Registry, the Registry of Third Parties, or the Registry of Electoral District Associations. In addition, personal information may be shared in accordance with the Privacy Act, e.g., to third parties for the purpose of conducting public opinion research, including surveys.


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Election workers

What personal information we collect from election workers

We collect personal information from returning officers and other election workers. This information is in the  Returning Officers and Electoral Workers personal information bank (PIB).

Names for potential election officers and returning office staff are provided from many sources, depending on the position. For more information, please go to the Employment page on our website.

How we collect personal information from election workers

We collect personal information from election workers and potential election workers through various channels, including the application process.

What election worker personal information we share with external parties

With the applicant’s consent, we share the following personal information with the elections administrator for their province or territory of residence: name, address, telephone number(s), the selected position(s), previous experience, Canadian citizenship status and the fact that they will be at least 16 years of age in the next 12 months.

The list of Field Liaison Officers (FLOs) is public information available on our website.

The list of Returning Officers (ROs) is public information available on our website.

In addition, personal information may be shared in accordance with the Privacy Act, e.g., to third parties for the purpose of conducting public opinion research, including surveys.


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