If you own multiple properties and aren’t sure where to cast your ballot in the federal election scheduled for Oct. 21, here’s what you need to know:
Voters in Canada’s federal electoral system must be registered in the electoral district where they have their ordinary residence. An elector can have only one place of ordinary residence, even if they live at several addresses throughout the year. For the purposes of registration and voting, an ordinary residence is “the place that someone lives in and intends to return to when away,” according to Elections Canada. For most voters, their ordinary residence is a house, condo or apartment, but a cottage can be considered an ordinary residence under specific circumstances.
“If an elector has no permanent place of ordinary residence, they may register to vote at their temporary place of residence,” said a letter from Elections Canada to the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA). “However, cottages and other temporary residences are not places of ordinary residence, unless the elector has no permanent place or ordinary residence.”
An elector can change their place of ordinary residence on the Voter Registration page of the Elections Canada website, or by contacting their local returning office during an election with appropriate identification and proof of address. The process can also be done at the polls, but it often takes additional time.
FOCA recommends that cottagers start the process early if they intend to designate their cottage riding as their ordinary residence for the federal election to ensure the voting process goes smoothly.
For more information about the Canadian federal electoral system, visit the Elections Canada website, or call 1-800- 463-6868, toll-free in Canada and the United States and available Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.