How to vote in the 2019 federal election

The federal election is coming up — and with many eligible voters at UBC alone, the student vote will be important.

Between 2011 and 2015, the federal election voter turnout for ages 18 to 24 went from 38.8 per cent to 57.1 per cent. This year, the AMS is launching the UBC Votes 2019 campaign to lower the barriers to voting that many students often face.

Elections Canada has included UBC as one of many on-campus voting stations throughout the country, which will include special polling stations in the Nest from October 5 to 9. At on-campus voting stations, you can vote in your home riding if you’re not registered in Vancouver Quadra.

Can I vote?

If you are a Canadian citizen 18 or older on Election Day and can prove your identity and residence, you can vote. You do not need to register to vote beforehand, but if you do register in advance online, you can spend less time at the polling station.

How do I vote?

There are multiple ways to cast your ballot in advance or on Election Day. You can even vote conveniently right on campus.

Before Election Day: Advanced voting in the Nest

As part of the UBC Votes 2019 campaign, the AMS has teamed up with Elections Canada to set up special polling stations in the Nest from October 5 to 9. Any voter can cast their ballot here, no matter what riding they are registered in. But if you’re registered outside of Vancouver Quadra, this will be the only time you can vote on campus.

When you vote in advance on campus, you will vote by special ballot, which means the candidate names will not appear on the ballot. Instead, there will be a blank space for you to write in the name of the candidate you are voting for. If you don't know the candidates in your riding you can check online beforehand, or you can ask for a list from election officials.

On-campus voting dates and times

  • Saturday, October 5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 6 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, October 7 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 8 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 9 from 10 a.m to 10 p.m

Before Election Day: Advanced voting at Elections Canada offices

You can vote in advance at Elections Canada offices anytime before 6 p.m. on October 15. Their hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Any voter can vote here and you can find a location on the Elections Canada website. The closest locations to campus are two temporary ones at 2106 West Broadway and 200-1985 West Broadway.

Before Election Day: Advanced voting at your assigned polling station

If you are already registered, you will get a voter information card in the mail by October 3 that tells you your assigned advance polling station. You can cast your vote there from October 11 to 14. This information can also be found on the Elections Canada website.

Before Election Day: Voting by mail

You can either apply online or print out a form to apply to vote by mail. The form can be submitted at an Elections Canada office or mailed to Ottawa, but your application must be received by 6 p.m. ET on October 15. You’ll receive your voting package in the mail with more instructions.

On Election Day: October 21 at your assigned polling station

If you decide to vote on Election Day on October 21, you will vote at your assigned polling place. If you register to vote in advance, you can find this information on your voter information card or you can check on Elections Canada’s website.

What do I need to bring?

The identification requirement to vote is the same whether or not you are registered and whether you are voting by mail, in advance or on Election Day. You will need either:

One piece of Canadian government ID that has your name, photo and address.

Or, two documents with your name, one of which must have your address. For registered voters, one of these will usually be the voter information card. The rules on this second option are broad and you can check Elections Canada’s website for a full list of options. A debit card with your name on it, your UBCcard or even a library card are among the things accepted, as long as both items have your name and at least one has your address.

But even if you don’t have an ID, you can still vote if someone who knows you and has their own ID signs a piece of paper proving that you are the person you say you are. But they must be registered to vote at the same polling station. If you choose to go this route, just note you can only vouch for one person.

Whatever documents you bring can be in the original format. Electronic documents such as e-statements and invoices can be printed out or shown to officials on your phone.