Plan early and choose which voting option best suits your needs.

That’s the advice from Elections Canada with federal election day just over a month away.

There are a few ways to cast your vote.

You can do so on election day, which is Monday, Sept. 20th, or you can head to advance polls on Sept. 10th, 11th, 12th, or 13th.

If you’d prefer to vote by mail, you need to apply before Sept. 13th at 6:00pm local time. You can either apply online, or complete a paper application form. Forms are available at any Elections Canada office. 

They can also be printed from elections.ca, or sent by mail, upon request, by calling 1-800-463-6868.

If you plan to vote by mail, Elections Canada advises you to plan ahead. 

This will allow time for your voting kit to reach you, and for your marked ballot to be returned to Elections Canada.

Elections Canada must receive the marked ballots by the election day deadline; otherwise, they will not be counted.

To vote, electors must show proof of identity and address. The list of accepted ID is online.

Voting and identification rules are different for incarcerated electors and Canadian electors who live abroad.

Given the ongoing pandemic, Elections Canada, in consultation with public health authorities, has measures in place at polling places and Elections Canada offices to protect electors, election workers and political participants. 

They include providing protective equipment for poll workers and office workers and hand sanitizer and masks for electors.

If you are self-isolating or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should apply to vote by mail or call their local Elections Canada office to find out more about their voting options.

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Meanwhile, as we get ready to go to the polls, here are the voting choices, so far, in the Courtenay-Alberni riding: NDP incumbent Gord Johns, Conservative Mary Lee, and Liberal Susan Farlinger.