open Secondary menu

News Releases and Media Advisories

Advance Polling Dates

OTTAWA, April 19, 2011 — While concerns have been expressed that advance polls for the 41st general election coincide with statutory holidays and several days of religious observance for the Christian and Jewish communities, the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada does not determine the dates for advance polls, as these flow from legislative requirements.

The Canada Elections Act provides that advance polls will occur on the 10th, 9th and 7th days before election day. Subsection 171(2) of the Act is clear that these can be the only dates for advance polls. As the election has been called for Monday, May 2, advance polls must be held on Friday, April 22, Saturday, April 23 and Monday, April 25.

The Canada Elections Act provides a range of mechanisms for electors to cast their ballots. Electors who are unable to vote at the advance polls can vote either on polling day, Monday, May 2, or at any time during the election, by taking advantage of the special ballot. To vote by special ballot, electors can submit an application either to their local Elections Canada office or to Elections Canada in Ottawa no later than 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26. They must ensure that their ballot is returned to the local Elections Canada office before the close of the polls on May 2, or to Elections Canada in Ottawa before 6:00 p.m. on May 2.

"We recognize that many electors will find the advance polling dates inappropriate or inconvenient and we fully understand their concerns," said Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Marc Mayrand. "It is important that electors choose the voting option that best suits their individual circumstances."

Vote. Shape your world.

Elections Canada is an independent body set up by Parliament.

Elections Canada Media Relations
or at