Federal Election Monday, September 20

Voting at seniors' residences and long-term care facilities

Note: the deadline to apply to vote by mail or at an Elections Canada office has passed. Electors who applied before the deadline still have options to return their completed special ballot.

We are working with seniors' residences and long-term care facilities to ensure that residents have options to vote safely, either at the facility where they live or through other voting options.

The voting options available vary from facility to facility, depending on the health and safety measures in place and whether facility administrators are able to support on-site voting services.

Voting at the facility where you live

Depending on the situation at your facility, you will vote in one of the following ways:

Note: the deadline to apply to vote by mail or at an Elections Canada office has passed. Electors who applied before the deadline still have options to return their completed special ballot.

  • At an on-site poll – A poll will be set up at your facility at a date and time determined by the facility administrator and Elections Canada.
    or
  • Through coordinated special ballot voting – Staff at the facility will work with the local Elections Canada office to provide you with a special ballot application and voting kit. They may also help you with your application.
    or
  • By mail – You will apply independently to vote using the vote-by-mail process.

How do I learn more about voting at my facility?

Watch for communications from Elections Canada

Staff at your facility will give each resident a notice with information about their voting options. Look for your notice about two weeks before election day (Monday, September 20). Eligible residents will also receive a voter information card and most facilities will put up posters with information about the voting options available to residents.

Contact us

Learn more about voting at your facility, or the facility where someone you care about lives, by contacting the local Elections Canada office in the riding where the facility is located.

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Other voting options

If your facility is not able to offer an on-site poll or coordinated special ballot voting, there are other voting options available to you. You may vote:

  • At your assigned polling station on election day

Learn more about these voting options.

Note: If you wish to vote at an Elections Canada office or at a polling station outside of your facility, check with the facility administrator to see if health and safety policies allow you to travel off site.

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Frequently asked questions:

Do I have to vote at my facility?

If the health and safety policies at your facility allow residents to travel off site, you may vote:

  • If your facility does not have an on-site poll, you have the option of voting at your assigned polling station on election day, Monday, September 20.

If your facility does have an on-site poll, you will not be able to vote at a polling station outside of your facility on election day.

Note: If you wish to vote at a location outside of your facility, check with the facility administrator to make sure health and safety policies allow you to travel off site.

For more information about the voting options available at your facility, or the facility where someone you care about lives, contact the facility administrator or the local Elections Canada office in the riding where the facility is located.

I received a voter information card that says I can vote at my facility, but it does not tell me when voting will take place. What should I do?

If your voter information card does not include a date and time for when you can vote at your facility:

  • Watch for a follow-up notice from Elections Canada. With help from staff at your facility, we will deliver notices to each resident informing them of their voting options, including when they can vote at their facility.
  • Watch for posters with specific details about voting at your facility.
  • Don't throw away your voter information card. You can use it as a proof of address when you go to vote.

There will be a poll set up at my facility, but I received a voter information card that says my assigned advance and election day polls are somewhere else. What should I do?

Watch for posters at your facility with specific details about voting at your facility.  In most cases, facility staff will also distribute an Elections Canada information sheet with up-to-date information.  When in doubt, contact the local Elections Canada office in the riding where your facility is located.  

My facility administrator said residents will vote by mail (either by applying independently or through coordinated special ballot voting). How does that work?

When you vote by mail, you vote by special ballot. You will receive a notice informing you how to vote by mail (deadlines apply). Learn more about voting by special ballot.

Staff at some facilities may be able to offer support to residents voting by mail. Contact your facility administrator or your local Elections Canada office to ask how you can get assistance.

What is "coordinated special ballot voting"?

Voting at some facilities will be done through coordinated special ballot voting. This means that residents will vote by special ballot and staff at the facility will assist with the process and provide support to residents. Staff will:

  • Provide residents with a special ballot application form and, if needed, help them to complete it (for example by making the required copies of residents' proof of identity and address)
  • Provide residents with their voting kit, which includes instructions on how to complete their special ballot and prepare the return envelope
  • Collect the completed voting kits and return them to the local Elections Canada office where ballots will be counted

I need assistance to vote. What are my options?

Voting at the facility where you live

The tools and services available to assist voters may differ from facility to facility based on the health and safety measures in place. To learn more about getting assistance voting, contact your facility administrator or your local Elections Canada office. If staff at your facility cannot offer voting assistance, staff at the local Elections Canada office can help make arrangements (for example, having someone you trust help you with your proof of identity and address).

If you rely on someone from outside of your facility to help you vote—like a family member, friend or caregiver—contact your facility administrator if the health and safety measures in place allow non-residents to visit the facility. If not, ask about other ways you can get assistance (for example, getting help from the facility's staff or contacting your support person by phone or videoconference).

Voting at an Elections Canada office or at a polling station outside of your facility

Learn more about the tools and services available to help you vote.

I just recently moved to my long-term care facility. Can I vote there?

If your facility offers an on-site voting option (an on-site poll or coordinated special ballot voting) and you move to the facility before voting takes place:

You will be able to vote using the on-site voting option planned for your facility.

Each resident at your facility will receive a notice from Elections Canada listing the voting options available to them.

To vote, you will need to prove your identity and address.

If you are voting at a poll set up at your facility

If you don't have ID with the address of the facility where you just moved, staff at your facility can provide you with a Letter of Confirmation of Residence that you can use to prove your address. You will need to provide a second piece of accepted ID with your name.

If you do not have accepted ID, staff at your facility can vouch for you when you go to vote.

If you are voting by mail (through coordinated special ballot voting or independently)

You must provide proof of identity and address when you apply to vote by mail. If you do not have a piece of ID with the address of the facility where you just moved, staff at your facility can provide you with a Letter of Confirmation of Residence that you can use to apply. You will need to provide a second piece of accepted ID with your name.

Once you know which voting option will be in place at your facility, contact your facility administrator or the local Elections Canada office in your riding to learn more about how to prove your identity and address.

If you move to your facility after on-site voting takes place:

If health and safety policies at your facility allow you to travel off site, you may be able to vote at an assigned polling station on election day.

Contact your local Elections Canada office to request a transfer certificate. If you are able to travel to your assigned polling station on election day, you can use the certificate to vote there. You will also need to bring accepted ID.

Normally, I get voting assistance from a family member, caregiver or friend, but my facility does not allow visitors due to COVID-19. What can I do?

If you need assistance to vote but visitors are not allowed to enter your facility, staff at the facility may be able to help you. Contact your facility administrator or your local Elections Canada office to ask about how you can get assistance to vote.

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