Advance polls open Friday

A sign outside of a polling station in London. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

While there is still well over a week left in the federal election campaign, Canadians can begin casting their ballots this weekend.

Advance polls open Friday and continue through Thanksgiving Monday. Polling stations across the country will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m over the four day period.

All that is needed to vote is a driver’s licence or any other identification issued by the federal or provincial governments that have the voter’s photo, name and address listed. Those without a driver’s licence can cast a ballot by showing two pieces of Elections Canada approved identification, such as a voter information card and a bank statement or a utility bill and student ID card.

Anyone who doesn’t have ID will also still be permitted to vote in the election as long as they declare their identity and address in writing and have a fellow voter, who they know and who is assigned to the same polling station, vouch for them. The voucher must have proof of identity and address with them.

Advance polling station locations are listed on voter information cards, which were mailed out a few weeks ago. Anyone who did not receive a voter information card can find their advanced polling station by clicking here.

Votes can also be cast at any of the 500 Elections Canada offices or by mail using the special ballot process until 6 p.m. next Tuesday.

Selfie enthusiasts hoping to snap a pic with their marked ballot are reminded that it is illegal to do so, as it violates the secrecy of the vote under the Canada Elections Act. Posting a photo of a marked ballot on social media is also a violation of the Act.

Those who miss, or choose not to vote during the advance polls will be able to cast their ballots on election day October 21.