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The Voter Information Campaign

To ensure that Canadians can exercise their democratic right to vote, Elections Canada conducts a Voter Information Campaign before and during federal elections to provide Canadians with all the information they need on when, where and ways to register and vote in a federal election.

The national campaign, delivered through a series of products with consistent messages and look and feel, primarily targets the general population and groups who face higher-than-average barriers to participating in elections: new voters (youth and new Canadian citizens,) Indigenous electors, and electors with disabilities.

For the first time in 2019, Elections Canada launched its Voter Information Campaign prior to the election call (pre-election campaign) to increase awareness, position itself as the official source of information on the electoral process, and encourage eligible Canadians to register to vote and work in the federal election. The pre-election campaign targets the general population with a focus on new voters and other priority groups with lower electoral participation rates.

Audiences

One of Elections Canada's key roles is to communicate effectively and clearly to Canadians about the electoral process, including registration procedures and the identification required to vote. To that end, the agency has developed many resources to reach out to the Canadian electorate, especially those who face barriers to voting (youth and students, seniors, Indigenous electors, persons with disabilities, electors who are homeless and members of ethnocultural communities). Electors in these groups often lack the identification documents required to prove their address. They are less likely to be registered and receive a voter information card (VIC). Our research over the last 15 years indicates that the VIC is the main source of information on voting for electors.

Research shows that these groups experience barriers to participating in elections, including not knowing the many different ways to register and vote; or how to work in an election. Some Canadians lack interest in politics or do not feel confident in their political knowledge. By sharing what we know, Elections Canada can help address some of the access and motivational barriers to getting involved with elections.

Sub-populations who face barriers to voting Population % of population* Source
Youth (18–24) 3,079,095 8.8 Census (2016)
Post-secondary students 2,034,957 5.8 Census (2016)
Seniors (65+) 5,935,630 16.9 Census (2016)
Living in a health care and related facilities Footnote 1 428,585 1.2 Census (2016)
Indigenous people (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) 1,673,785 4.8 Census (2016)
Canadians citizens through naturalization 5,621,975 16.3 Census (2016)
New Canadians (acquired citizenship between 2012–2016) 904,865 2.6 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (2018)
Canadians with disabilities 6,246,640 17.8 Canadian Survey on Disability (2017)
People who are homeless 235,000 0.7 Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (2016)

*The denominator for calculating population percentage is 35,151,728—the total estimated population of Canada. 

Services and Information for Electors with Disabilities

Our Information for People with Disabilities' web page provides details about the tools and services that were available to electors with disabilities for the 2019 federal election, including our Accessibility Policy and Service Offering for people with disabilities and information on outreach and stakeholder engagement.

Communication Channels

The Voter Information Campaign delivers concise, reliable and accessible information about the voting process and voter identification requirements using a wide variety of products, formats and channels to maximize its reach to Canadians.

Election Website

The Federal Election 2019 website was developed so that all Canadians can find, understand and use the information they need to register and vote in a federal election.

National Advertising Campaign

Our federal election national multimedia advertising campaign focused on electoral information about where, when and ways to register and vote, distributed through radio, television, print, digital, social media ads, and out-of-home media.

Elections Canada launched a pre-election national advertising campaign targeting new voters, with a focus on ways to participate in the federal election, including working at an election and registering to vote. Once the election was called, the focus reflected the various phases of the electoral calendar: registration, the receipt of the VIC (and what to do if electors did not receive one), early voting options and an election day reminder to bring ID to the polls. All advertising directed electors either to the website for the 2019 federal election, or to our toll free number for additional information.

Many ads were translated into Indigenous and heritage languages. All ads met accessibility guidelines and were posted online for easy access.

Information Products

A suite of information products were created. They were written in plain language in both official languages, and available in downloadable formats. Products included infographics, flyers, a presentation and a series of explainer videos. While some were printed for distribution in the field, Elections Canada met its objective to issue fewer print products and make more shareable digital tools readily available.

The two key information products for electors were the VIC and the Guide to the Federal Election. Complementary products were tailored to focus on a theme or a target group.

Social Media

Elections Canada manages accounts in both official languages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube channels.

We used these media to help increase awareness of where, when and ways to register and vote, voter identification requirements, and employment opportunities. These channels also made it easy for followers to share our digital communication products.

National Outreach Activities in Support of Communication

Elections Canada collaborated with national, regional and local organizations serving our target groups of electors facing access and information barriers greater than those of the general population.

Through formal contracts and verbal agreements, these organizations disseminated Elections Canada information products electronically or through in-person briefings prior to and during a federal election. They were encouraged to promote Elections Canada's online registration service in their communications and at their events, prior to the election.

Community Relations Officers

A network of more than 2000 community relations officers (CROs) were once again recruited to conduct local outreach activities during the election period aimed at identified target groups: youth; Aboriginal electors; seniors living in residences and long-term care facilities; ethnocultural communities; and homeless electors

They were responsible for promoting the online registration service, providing basic election information with specific emphasis on the voter identification requirements, and, as appropriate, supporting the letter of confirmation process.




Footnote 1 This includes people age 65+ who live in hospitals, nursing homes, residences for senior citizens, facilities that are a mix of both a nursing home and a residence for senior citizens, as well as residential care facilities for persons with disabilities and addictions.