Election 2015 Advance Polls: What you need if you want to vote right now

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Voting Ballot

Since Stephen Harper’s Conservative Government called one of the longest election periods in Canadian history, we’ve got a long way to go until the federal election on October 19. That means still another month until Canadians will hit the general polling stations to decide the future of the country.

If you’ve been finding yourself wishing you could cast your vote early, well then there’s good news: you can vote right now, and you’ve got a few options.

Register to vote

The first step. Obviously it won’t matter how you want to vote if you aren’t allowed.

Vote by mail

If you’ll be outside of your riding on election day, or you just simply feel like it, you can cast your vote by mail. Apply before October 13 to be sent your special ballot voting kit. Voting through Her Majesty’s postal system? What a time to be alive!

Vote at an Elections Canada office

There are more than 400 Elections Canada offices across the country, and they’re all open for early voting from now until October 13. Hours are Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and from Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

New rules have changed how you can prove who you are at the voting station, so pay attention. The three options:

(1) Show one of these pieces of ID:

  • Driver’s license
  • Provincial or Territorial ID
  • Any other government card with your photo, name, and current address

(2) Show two of these documents, at least one with your current address:

  • Health card
  • Canadian passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of Canadian citizenship
  • Citizenship card
  • Social insurance number card
  • Indian status card
  • Band membership card
  • Métis card
  • Card issued by an Inuit local authority
  • Canadian Forces identity card
  • Veterans Affairs health card
  • Old age security card
  • Hospital card
  • Medical clinic card
  • Label on a prescription container
  • Identity bracelet issued by a hospital or long-term care facility
  • Blood donor card
  • CNIB card
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Employee card
  • Student identity card
  • Public transportation card
  • Library card
  • Liquor identity card
  • Parolee card
  • Firearms licence
  • Licence or card issued for fishing, trapping or hunting
  • Utility bill (e.g. electricity; water; telecommunications services including telephone, cable or satellite)
  • Bank statement
  • Credit union statement
  • Credit card statement
  • Personal cheque
  • Government statement of benefits
  • Government cheque or cheque stub
  • Pension plan statement
  • Residential lease or sub-lease
  • Mortgage contract or statement
  • Income tax assessment
  • Property tax assessment or evaluation
  • Vehicle ownership
  • Insurance certificate, policy or statement
  • Correspondence issued by a school, college or university
  • Letter from a public curator, public guardian or public trustee
  • Targeted revision form from Elections Canada to residents of long-term care facilities
  • Letter of confirmation of residence from a First Nations band or reserve or an Inuit local authority
  • Letter of confirmation of residence, letter of stay, admission form or statement of benefits from one of the following designated establishments:
    • Student residence
    • Seniors’ residence
    • Long-term care facility
    • Shelter
    • Soup kitchen

(3) If you ID doesn’t have your current address, take an oath:

Show two pieces of ID with your name, and have someone confirm that you are who you say you are.

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Shawn O'Hara Shawn is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. He loves writing about news, arts, movies, comedy, and culture. Some would argue Shawn is too old to still play Dungeons & Dragons. Shawn would disagree.

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