POSTED ON March 17, 2017
2017 Federal By-Election: FAQ

The 2017 Federal By-Election in Ottawa-Vanier will take place next April 3

If you are a Canadian citizen, can prove your identity and address, and are at least 18 years old on Election Day, you can vote.

In the last Federal Election, 57% of the youth voted. On April 3, it is crucial for students to go out and make their voices heard. CUPE 2626 encourages you to vote for the party or candidate you think best represents you as a student and a worker, and to vote for the change you feel Canada needs.

So on April 3 (or before!), go vote. CUPE 2626 has prepared this FAQ to help you navigate the voting process for the 2017 Federal By-Elections.

Do you live close to the University of Ottawa? If so, you likely live in the Ottawa-Vanier riding and are likely eligible to vote in the upcoming federal By-election.

To see if you live in the Vanier riding see this map OR type in your postal code here.

Do I have to have lived in the riding for a minimum amount of time in order to be able to vote?

No, if you consider Ottawa home for even part of the year you can vote here. All that matters is that you have that you live in the riding.

Do I have to register to vote?

Yes, everyone has to register to vote but you don’t have to register before election day in order to vote. You can register to vote in person on election day at the same time as you show up to your polling station to vote. Registering to vote just involves signing a few extra pieces of paper before you cast your ballot.

Can I still vote if I didn’t get a voter card in the mail?

If you are registered to vote in advance you will receive a Voter Information Card in the mail reminding you of where and when to vote. If you did not get a Voter Information Card in the mail it means that you are not registered to vote – but don’t worry , you can still register and vote on election day at the same place you go to cast your ballot (see ‘Do I have to register to vote?’ above).

Where can I vote?

You will vote at a polling station, often a school or community center close to where you live.

If you live ON campus: there will likely be a polling station on campus for you to vote at.

If you live OFF campus: you will likely not vote on campus, you will vote at a polling station at a community centre or other public building in the area.

To confirm what polling station you should vote:

  1. Go to Elections Canada’s website
  2. Type in your postal code
  3. On the right click “where do I vote”

OR if you are already registered to vote, the address that you should vote at can be found on the Voter Information Card that you will receive in the mail.

Please note that you can also vote in advance or by mail. For more information on ways to vote, please visit Elections Canada’s website.

What do I need to vote?

To vote you will need to prove 2 things: 1) your identity and 2) your address in the Ottawa-Vanier riding.

This can be done in 3 ways:

(1) Show your driver’s license (if your license shows your address in the Ottawa-Vanier riding).


(2) Show 2 pieces of ID, one must show your address in the Ottawa-Vanier riding.

  • Your student card (and many other cards with your name) qualifies as one of the pieces of ID proving your identity.
  • To prove your address, Elections Canada accepts lots of different types of documents. For example, you can use a telephone bill, bank statement, or correspondence from the University. If none of these options show your address in the Ottawa-Vanier riding, a copy of your lease or sub-lease (showing the address you live at) can be used to prove your address. If you live on campus, the University can give you a letter to confirm your residence.

A list of the ID you can use is available on Elections Canada’s website.

Note: You are allowed to use e-invoices or e-statements and show them on your mobile device. So, if you have any of these documents (ex. A bank statement, cell phone bill, credit card statement etc.) you can use that document to prove your address in the Ottawa-Vanier riding.

(3) If you don’t have any ID that proves your address in the riding, you can still vote by showing two pieces of ID with your name and by having someone who knows you attest to your address. This person must show proof of identity and address, be able to vote at the same polling division as you, and can attest for only one person.

Note: since the person attesting for you has to vote at the same poll location as you, this person likely has to be someone who lives very close to you (ie. a roommate or someone on the same street), if the person lives too far away, they likely have to vote at a different poll location. If you are bringing someone with you to attest to your residence, double check that you both live in the same poll location by checking on the Elections Canada Website (see “Where can I vote” above).

Can I use my voter card to vote?

If you are registered to vote before election day you will receive a Voter Information Card in the mail reminding you of where and when to vote. This card is a reminder only and can not be used as a piece of ID to prove your identity or address.

Other resources about voting as a student

Apathy is boring: How to Vote

Elections Canada: Information for Indigenous Voters

Elections Canada: What ID should I take with me?

Elections Canada: Information about pieces of ID

Students’ how-to: registering and voting in the 2015 federal election (Ottawa Citizen article)



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