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How to vote in this year’s federal election

The Varsity’s guide to voting for your MP on September 20
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JULIEN BALBONTIN/THE VARSITY
JULIEN BALBONTIN/THE VARSITY

With on-campus voting booths disappearing and cases of the Delta variant going up, voting in the upcoming federal election may seem like a daunting task. 

To help you exercise your right to vote on Monday, September 20, here’s The Varsity’s breakdown of how to vote in this year’s Canadian federal election.

Voter eligibility

You can vote in this year’s federal election if you meet three criteria: you’re a Canadian citizen, you’re over 18 years of age, and you can prove your identity and address.

You should have received an information card in the mail on or before September 10, letting you know where and when to vote. If you didn’t receive one, you can check your registration and register to vote online, or you can register to vote at your polling station on or before election day. 

There are a number of ways to prove your identity and address, but the easiest is showing a driver’s license or other government-issued ID. Otherwise, you’ll have to show two pieces of ID or bring along someone who cleared these steps to vouch for you. 

Voting before election day

You can vote before election day in a couple different ways. 

You can apply to vote by mail online or at your nearest Elections Canada office. This must be done before Tuesday, September 14 at 6:00 pm. If you choose this option, you have to vote by mail and can’t vote at the polls on or before election day. 

Early voting is also available at Elections Canada offices. Your ballot must be cast before Tuesday, September 14 at 6:00 pm. Offices are open weekdays from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, as well as during shortened weekend hours. 

Voting on election day

Polls will be open on Monday, September 20 for 12 hours. 

For those living near UTSG, your closest polling station is likely The Yorkville Royal Sonesta Hotel at 220 Bloor Street West in Toronto, across the street from the Royal Ontario Museum. 

For students at UTSC, the closest polling station is Highland Creek Public School at 1410 Military Trail in Scarborough. 

For those at UTM, the closest polling station is St. Mark Separate School at 3675 Sawmill Valley Drive in Mississauga. 

Voting abroad 

If you haven’t been able to return to Canada yet or are out of the country for any reason, you can still vote in the upcoming election. Voting can be done through a mail-in ballot. If you’re interested in voting by mail or voting in advance, you can apply for a special ballot by Tuesday, September 14 at 6:00 pm. 

For more information, check out The Varsity’s profiles of the MP candidates for the UTSG, UTSC, and UTM campus ridings. Go to elections.ca to learn more about voting in your riding.