do it now
2015-10-05 18:55:27 UTC
And, if you're planning to do 'strategic voting' to keep the Harper Cons out - I would recommend you run your postal code on Leadnow's site:
And check to see which party, other than the Cons, is highest in the polls in your riding. That is the person and party you want to vote for and you'll need to make note of the correct spelling of their name - and party.
What is a special ballot?
Any voter who cannot or doesn't wish to vote at a polling station during an election can choose this option. With a special ballot, an elector can vote by mail or
in person at an Elections Canada office.
The process is slightly different from voting at a poll on election day or at the advance polls from Oct. 9 to 12.
How does it work?
Anyone voting by special ballot and doing so early enough will receive a blank ballot, and this is what you do:
1. Consult the Elections Canada page to find out the name of the candidate in your riding you who like to choose.
2. Write the first and last name of your chosen candidate.
Writing the name of just the party of the candidate you are voting for isn't enough -- if you only write down the party, your vote wouldn't count.
"It's a two-step process," said John S. Loch, returning officer for the riding of Halifax West. [both the name of the candidate AND their party ! ]
First, the Elections Canada team verifies whether you're on the voting list. Just showing up with your voting card won't speed up the process. The second step is to actually vote.
What ID does a voter need?
"All that card does is tell you where to vote. It doesn't give you any other credentials whatsoever," said Loch.
Regardless of whether you have a voting card, you can show up with a piece of photo ID (such as a driver's licence) or two pieces of ID (such as a health card, Canadian passport or birth certificate) with at least one showing a current address.
What are the benefits of voting by special ballot?
Because of the need to verify you're on the voting list, the special ballot process takes a little longer, about 11 minutes on average, says Loch, compared to about five minutes when voting at a regular poll.
There's a definite benefit, though, to voting by special ballot.
"The lineups are certainly not as long," says Loch.
He says a big line at an Elections Canada office might have about six people in it.
When is Elections Canada open?
They're open seven days a week:
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday.
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.