Voting in an election while outside Canada
If you are living outside Canada you may apply to be added to the International Register of Electors. You can then vote by special mail-in ballot in future federal elections, by-elections and referendums.
The International Register of Electors is a database of Canadian electors living outside Canada who have applied to vote by special ballot. To be included in the International Register of Electors, you must:
- be qualified to vote (a Canadian citizen at least 18 years old on election day)
- have lived in Canada at some point in your life
You can apply any time by:
- completing the Application for registration and special ballot
- downloading the PDF file, printing it and sending it to the coordinates on the form
- contacting Elections Canada and requesting an application by mail
- visiting a Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate outside Canada . Contact the office before you visit, as electoral services are not available at all offices.
Once your completed application has been approved, your name will be added to the International Register of Electors. When a federal general election, a by-election or a referendum is called, Elections Canada will automatically mail you a special ballot voting kit if you are an eligible voter.
If you are travelling or studying outside Canada
If you usually live in Canada but will be out of your riding on election day because you are travelling or studying in a foreign country, you may apply to vote by special ballot.
As soon as an election is called, you can apply to vote by mail. You can also call 1-800-463-6868, visit any Elections Canada office or contact a Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate outside Canada to get a special ballot application form. Contact the office before visiting as electoral services are not available at all offices.
Allow enough time for a special ballot voting kit to reach you and for your ballot to travel back to Ottawa by election day.
Deadlines for voting from outside Canada
Your completed application and supporting documents must be received by Elections Canada in Ottawa by 6 pm ET on the Tuesday before election day. When your application has been approved, Elections Canada will mail you a special ballot voting kit. The kit explains how to vote.
Your completed ballot must be received at Elections Canada in Ottawa before 6 pm ET on election day. According to the Canada Elections Act, the agency cannot accept late application forms or count late ballots.
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