What qualifications must I meet in order to vote?
In order to vote in a Provincial General Election or by-election, you must be:
- a Canadian citizen
- at least 18 years old on polling day
- ordinarily resident in the province on the day before polling day; and
- ordinarily resident in the district and polling division on polling day.
Acceptable identification, such as a driver’s licence, is required to be added to the voters list.
Am I included on the voters list?
Every resident of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador who meets the voting qualifications may choose whether or not to be included on the voters list.
Inclusion on the list provides benefits to voters, such as receiving a Voter Information Card that provides registered electors with personalized voting information regarding where and when to vote. Being included on the voters list also results in a more streamlined process at the polls by avoiding the requirement of additional paperwork before you cast a ballot.
To determine if you are on the voters list or to add or update your information, contact Elections NL.
What is “ordinary residence”?
According to the Elections Act, 1991 , ordinary residence is that place in which an elector has his or her principle or only residence, home, lodging or habitation.
How do I determine my ordinary residence?
You are responsible for determining your own ordinary residence. Choose where you will vote in the upcoming election, based on the following guidelines in the Elections Act, 1991 .
Guidelines to consider when determining your ordinary residence:
Students Residing at Home
If you are attending either a university or college and live at home, then your place of ordinary residence is your family home. You should be included on the voters list for a polling division found in the district where your family home is located.
Students living away, but planning to return to their family home upon completion of their studies
If you leave your family home to attend either university or college within or outside the province, but you intend to return to your family home after completing your studies, you are considered to be ordinarily resident in the place and polling division where your family home is located. This is the district for which you should vote on election day.
Students living away, and not planning to return to their family home upon completion of their studies
If you are not planning on returning to your family home or remain unsure as to whether you will be returning there, then you can be included voters list for a polling division where your current residence is located. You should vote there on election day by providing identification and taking the required oath or affirmation.
What methods of voting are available to me?
As a student, there are several voting options available to you: voting in person at the polls on election day or advance poll day, or voting by Special Ballot.
Polls are open on election day from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. (half an hour earlier in parts of Labrador).
Polls are also open on advance poll day, typically one week prior to Election Day, from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. (half an hour earlier in parts of Labrador).
In order to vote in person at the polls on election day or on advance poll day, you must be voting in the district where your ordinary residence is located. For example, if you are located in St. John’s East – Quidi Vidi, you can only vote for candidates running in St. John’s East – Quidi Vidi.
Additionally, students may choose to vote by Special Ballot. Special Ballot voting allows students who wish to cast a ballot for their hometown district, while attending university or college elsewhere.
In order to vote by Special Ballot, you must apply. Applications may be downloaded from the Forms and Guides section, or you may choose to pick one up or complete one at any district Returning Office or at ENL headquarters.
Are there deadlines associated with Special Ballot voting?
Yes, there are important deadlines for applying for Special Ballot voting and for returning your completed Special Ballot to both the district Returning Office and to ENL headquarters.
It is the responsibility of the student applying to vote by Special Ballot to meet all established deadlines. Late ballots cannot be accepted.
For more information on Special Ballot voting, click here or call us toll-free at 1-877-729-7987.
What kind of identification do I need to vote?
A detailed list of acceptable identification (PN-15) can be viewed in the Voter Registration section on the Forms and Guides page.
Did you know?
Once your Special Ballot application has been processed and a Special Ballot kit has been issued to you, you can no longer vote at the advance or regular polls. You are deemed to have “voted”.
Remember, it is your responsibility to meet all established deadlines.
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