July 30, 2014
 

Special Ballots: General Information

More days and more ways for you to vote.

What is Special ballot voting?

Special ballot voting is a process that provides eligible electors who cannot or do not wish to vote at an advance poll or on polling day, with an opportunity to:

  • Vote in person at the local returning office, up to the day before election day at 6:00PM ET or 5:00 PM CT

  • Vote by mail up to and including election day at 6:00 PM ET or 5:00 PM CT.

through the use of a write-in Special ballot.

Voting by Special Ballot: In person or by mail

Voting in person at the local returning office

If you are an eligible elector, you may wish to vote by Special ballot at your local returning or satellite office. To do this:

  • You must bring one piece of identification (41KB PDF) that includes both your name and residential address to your local returning or satellite office (click here to find the contact information of your local returning or satellite office).

  • When you arrive at the returning office, a Special Ballot Officer will assist you in completing your Special Ballot Application.

  • You will show your identification and sign the declaration confirming that you are eligible to vote by Special ballot.

  • Once the Special Ballot Officer reviews and approves your application, you will vote by Special ballot.

  • Your name will be struck off the List of Electors, indicating that you have voted by Special ballot. This means that you will no longer be eligible to vote in person at an advance poll or on election day.

For more information on Special ballots, please contact us:

Voting by mail:

To vote by mail, you must complete a Special Ballot Application. However, if you are temporarily living outside Ontario, you may wish to apply to be named on the Register of Absentee Electors which also allows you to vote by mail. For more information on the Register of Absentee Electors, please click here.

There are 5 easy steps to follow in order to receive your Special ballot and vote by mail:

  1. Complete the Special Ballot Application. Once an election is called, this application becomes available:

  2. Attach a photocopy of one piece of ID that includes both your name and residential address in Ontario

  3. Send your completed Special ballot application along with the copy of your ID to Elections Ontario or your local returning office by mail, email, or fax (click here for Elections Ontario's contact information, or click here to find the contact information of your Returning/Satellite Office).

    Note: Elections Ontario or your local returning office must receive your completed application and copy of your ID by 6PM ET or 5PM CT on the 6th day before election day.

  1. Once your application is approved, you will receive a Special ballot kit in the mail, It includes your write-in ballot, return envelope and detailed voting instructions

  2. Mail your completed ballot to Elections Ontario or your local returning office using the return envelope found in the Special ballot kit.

    Note: Your Special ballot kit must be received at Elections Ontario or your local returning office by 6PM ET or 5PM CT on election day.

What happens if you…

Live inside the province but are unable to vote on election day or at advance polls

If you are an eligible elector but unable to vote at an advance poll or on election day, you can vote by Special ballot in one of the following ways:

  • Vote in person at the local returning office, up to the day before election day at 6:00PM ET or 5:00 PM CT

  • Vote by mail up to and including election day at 6:00 PM ET or 5:00 PM CT.

Want to vote in person by Special ballot at your local returning office?

To vote in person at your local returning office,

  • You must bring one piece of identification (41KB PDF) that includes both your name and residential address to your local returning or satellite office (Click here to find the contact information of your local returning or satellite office).

  • When you arrive at the returning office, a Special Ballot Officer will assist you in completing your Special Ballot Application.

  • You will show your identification and sign the declaration confirming that you are eligible to vote by Special ballot.

  • Once the Special Ballot Officer reviews and approves your application, you will vote by Special ballot.

  • Your name will be struck off the List of Electors, indicating that you have voted by Special ballot. This means that you will no longer be eligible to vote in person at an advance poll or on election day.

For more information on Special ballots, please contact us:

You can download Adobe Reader to view PDF files.

Want to vote by mail?

To vote by mail, you must complete a Special Ballot Application. However, if you are temporarily living outside Ontario, you may wish to apply to be named on the Register of Absentee Electors which also allows you to vote by mail. For more information on the Register of Absentee Electors, please click here.

There are 5 easy steps to follow in order to receive your Special ballot and vote by mail:

  1. Complete the Special Ballot Application. Once an election is called, this application becomes available:

  2. Attach a photocopy of one piece of ID that includes both your name and residential address in Ontario

  3. Send your completed Special ballot application along with the copy of your ID to Elections Ontario or your local returning office by mail, email, or fax (click here for Elections Ontario's contact information, or click here to find the contact information of your Returning/Satellite Office).

    Note: Elections Ontario or your local returning office must receive your completed application and copy of your ID by 6PM ET or 5PM CT on the 6th day before election day.

  1. Once your application is approved, you will receive a Special ballot kit in the mail, It includes your write-in ballot, return envelope and detailed voting instructions.

  2. Mail your completed ballot to Elections Ontario or your local returning office using the return envelope found in the Special ballot kit.

    Note: Your Special ballot kit must be received at Elections Ontario or your local returning office by 6PM ET or 5PM CT on election day.

Live temporarily outside the province

If you are an eligible elector temporarily living outside Ontario, you can vote by mail or apply to be named in the Register of Absentee Electors, which also allows you to vote by mail.

Are in a correctional facility

If you are an incarcerated elector currently in a federal, provincial, or youth correctional facility, you can apply to vote by Special ballot using the vote by mail process.

More information will be distributed to your correctional facility once an election is called.

Are a post-secondary student

Every eligible elector must vote in the electoral district in which his or her principal residence is located. As a post-secondary student elector, you must choose your principal residence before you vote.

For example, as a post-secondary student, you may live in one residence when you're at school, like your dorm room or your off-campus apartment, and in another residence when you're out of school, like your family home. When you choose your principal residence, you are choosing your electoral district and your pool of candidates.

Once you have chosen your principal residence, you can vote in one of the three ways. You can vote:

  • at an advance poll,
  • at your voting location on election day, or
  • Special ballot.

If you're a post-secondary student with a physical disability and you're unable to vote at your local returning office or satellite office, at an advance poll, or on election day, you may request a home visit.

For more information on the options available to post-secondary students, please contact us.

Are temporarily in hospital

If you're temporarily hospitalized and unable to vote at an advance poll, on election day, or at your local returning or satellite office, you can vote by Special ballot.

Special Ballot Officers will visit designated hospitals across Ontario on the 10th, 9th and 8th day before the election to ensure that temporarily hospitalized electors have the opportunity to vote. These officers will assist you to determine your electoral district and the names of your candidates.

You will be able to use either your hospital bracelet or one identification document which includes both your name and residential address as ID.

Specific dates and times for voting will be posted at these facilities during the election period.

Note: This program is not offered during by-elections.

Are unable to leave your home

If you're unable to leave your home, you may be eligible to request a home visit. You can ask to vote at home by Special ballot if:

  • you're eligible to vote in the election

  • it is impossible or unreasonably difficult for you to get to your local returning office or satellite office, and

  • you need help completing the Special Ballot Application because of a disability or because you're unable to read or write.

Who do I contact for a home visit?

You may request a home visit by telephone, e-mail, or fax through your local returning office or satellite office.

Contacting the Special Ballot Team

For more information on Special ballots or to receive a Special Ballot Application, please visit your local returning office (during an election or by-election) or contact us.

Via mail

Elections Ontario
Attention: Special Ballot
51 Rolark Drive
Toronto, ON, M1R 3B1
Canada

Via email:

sb@elections.on.ca
Please type "Special Ballots – Information" in the subject line.

Via phone:

Toll-free in Canada and the United States: 1-855-523-5932
Collect calls: +1-416-649-1046
TTY toll-free in Canada and the United states: 1-888-292-2312

Via fax:

Toll-free in Canada and the United States: 1-888-483-4448
Outside of Canada and the United States: + 1-416-212-8723
Please type "Elections Ontario – Attention: Special Ballots" on your cover page.