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COVID-19 Guidance for Candidates Collecting Elector Signatures

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Elector Signatures

Highlights

  • 100 elector signatures are required (50 for electoral districts listed in Schedule 3).
  • An elector is a Canadian citizen qualified to vote in the electoral district where you intend to run. They do not need to be registered to vote.
  • Signatures must be witnessed by a person who is physically present. Electronic signatures are not permitted.
  • The witness does not have to be a qualified elector.

The Canada Elections Act (the Act) requires each candidate to collect at least 100 signatures of electors residing in the electoral district in which they intend to run (or at least 50 signatures for electoral districts listed in Schedule 3 of the Act). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have introduced new procedures and guidelines to protect the health of candidates and the public.

Electronic Distribution of Elector Signature Pages

A new form, called Section F – Single Elector Consenting to Candidacy, lets you collect elector signatures one at a time by email or other electronic methods. It has space for the information and signature of both a single elector and a witness.

The conventional form with space for 10 elector signatures can still be used and remains valid.

The following is the recommended procedure for the electronic distribution and receipt of elector signature pages:

  • Candidates send the PDF form electronically to the elector by email or through a digital file-sharing service.
  • The elector prints the form, fills out all necessary fields and signs it in the presence of a witness.
  • The witness must use due diligence to make sure that any signature made in their presence is by an elector who lives in the riding where the potential candidate plans to run. The witness must be physically present at the time of the signature and must enter their printed name, address and signature in the appropriate fields.
  • There are no restrictions on who may witness a signature. Several members of the same household may support a nomination. They can each complete a form and have their signature witnessed by another member of the household.
  • The elector creates a digital copy of the signed form (by scanning or taking a photo of it) and returns it to the candidate or their representative. Most digital formats are accepted, including .pdf, .jpg and .png.
  • The candidate may also print the form and send it to the elector by mail, and the elector may return the signed form by mail or drop it off at the candidate's office.

The form may be sent to the elector and returned electronically, but the elector and their witness must physically sign the form in ink. Electronic signatures will not be accepted. The writing on both the form and its digital copy must be readable so that the returning officer can validate the signature.

Collecting elector signatures in person

Signatures may still be collected in person, such as by canvassing door to door or in public spaces. All candidates and their representatives must check whether canvassing is allowed in local public health guidelines. There is a list of public health authorities across Canada in the Tools, Documents, and Forms section of the Political Entities Service Centre (PESC) portal. If going door to door, candidates should also consult the Campaign guidance for canvassing during COVID-19 on the Elections Canada website.

To reduce the need for in-person interactions, Elections Canada encourages candidates to submit their nomination documents, including elector signatures, through PESC.