The election is on September 20.
It's no secret by now, but Canada's federal election happening on September 20 and if you live in Montreal and you're planning to vote, it's important to know how to do it.
By now, you should've gotten your Elections Canada card, but what exactly are you supposed to do with it? And what do all those rules about your vote have to do with anything? Here's what you need to know.
What do I do with my Elections Canada voter information card?
The voter information card that you might've gotten in the mail is your confirmation that you are registered to vote in the federal election.
On the card, you'll find all the necessary information for voting, including the eligibility criteria to vote and the location of your polling station.
You may bring the card with you when you go to vote so that the poll workers can easily find you in the system.
How do I register to vote if I don't have a card?
If you haven't been sent a card in the mail, it's likely that you aren't registered to vote or that your voter information isn't up to date, according to Elections Canada.
To register before September 20, you can visit the Elections Canada website. You'll need to provide your name and current address.
You can also call the Elections Canada hotlines at 1-800-463-6868 or 1-800-361-8935 if you need assistance or don't have access to a computer.
And finally, you can register yourself to vote on the day of the election at your local polling station.
How do I actually vote in person?
If you go vote on September 20, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
You'll need to wear a face mask. Once you get to the polling station, an elections worker will greet you and show you where you need to go.
You'll need to show a driver's licence or other government-issued photo ID with your current address to get your ballot card. Once the poll worker confirms your registration, you'll be handed a ballot and tiny pencil, and be directed to stand behind a cardboard screen to cast your vote.
Once you're behind the screen, you'll need to cast your vote for your preferred party by marking the circle beside the name of the candidate with a clear X.
Then, the poll worker will tear off a strip of paper with your information on it from the ballot and hand it back to you. You then insert the card into the ballot box and pat yourself on the back for engaging in the democratic process. It's that easy!
Can I vote in advance or by mail?
There are four advance polling days where you can go to your local polling station to vote. These days are from September 10 to September 13 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The same rules apply if you plan to visit your polling station in advance.
As for mail-in voting, you'll need to apply by September 14 at 6 p.m. You will vote using a special ballot, which Elections Canada says it must receive by September 20.
If I need assistance due to my disability, how do I get it?
If you need special assistance like sign language interpretation, Elections Canada says you must contact your local election office by September 14 at 6 p.m. in order to receive accommodation at your polling station.
You are also responsible for ensuring that your assigned polling station is accessible to you. If it isn't, contact Elections Canada.
Elections Canada has a wide variety of voting assistance for all kinds of disabilities including large print ballots, braille lists of candidates, tactile and braille voting cards, magnifying glasses, sign language interpretation, language assistance, large-grip pencils and more.
What if I don't have a photo ID?
Another option is to show two pieces of accepted ID at the polling station.
According to Elections Canada, you can also "still vote if you declare your identity and address in writing and have someone who knows you and who is assigned to your polling station vouch for you."
The voucher must be able to prove their identity and address.
How can I find my polling station in Montreal?
It'll be marked on your voter information card but if you don't have one, Elections Canada has a handy portal where you can find your local polling station.
All 19 boroughs of Montreal will have plenty of registered polling stations so make sure you are going to the right one.