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Vote in a federal, provincial, or local election

Vote in a federal, provincial, or local election

Federal elections are held to decide the national government of Canada (MPs), which is responsible for issues like justice, defence, finance and more.

Provincial elections are held to decide the makeup of the provincial legislature (MLAs).

Local and band elections decide the governing body of a municipality, First Nation, or region such as Surrey, Hudson’s Hope, or Musqueam nation.

Who can vote?

You must be at least 18 to vote in most elections. For provincial elections, you must have lived in the province for at least six months. Local elections vary but usually require 30 days of residence or property in the region.


Insider Tip
You can vote in a federal and provincial election if you’ve been convicted of a crime.

Federal elections

  1. Register to vote. You can check your registration here.
  2. Place your vote
    1. Vote on Election Day at any of the polling stations.
    2. Vote at Advance Polling stations.
    3. Vote at an Elections Canada office.
    4. Vote by Mail.
What do I need register to vote?

You will need proof of name and address. If you don’t have ID that has both your name and address you can bring a piece of ID and a bill with your address on it. For the complete list check out this site.

Insider Tip
If you’re homeless you can still vote. You can have another voter from the same polling station come with you to affirm your residency as long as they have the ID necessary.

  1. How do I register to vote?

    You can check if you’re currently registered here. If you’re not registered you can do the following:

    1. Online registration: Go to Elections Canada website and register. To do this you will need a driver’s license or BCID.
    2. By Mail. You need to get a registration letter from one of the elections offices. Search the address here. You will need to provide proof of ID and mailing address.
    3. In person. You can go into any elections Canada office with 2 pieces of ID.
    4. At any polling station. You can register right before you vote. You must have a proof of name and address.

Provincial elections

  1. Register to vote. Registered voters will receive updates from Elections BC when an election is called, this includes information about where, when, and how to vote. Register here or you can also register during an election when you arrive at the voting location.
  2. Place your vote:
  • on Election Day at any of the voting locations.
  • During advance voting at an advance voting location.
  • at a district electoral office.
  • by mail.

What do I need to register to vote?

In BC, you need one of the following:

  • a BC driver’s licence
  • a BC Identification Card (BCID)
  • a BC Services Card (with photo)
  • a status card

Someone can vouch for you if you don’t have ID. This person must be a registered voter from your electoral district, a family member, or a person with the legal authority to make personal care decisions for you. See more on vouching here.

How do I register to vote?

To register on the Provincial Voters List, you must be:

  • A Canadian citizen
  • 18 or older, and
  • A B.C. resident for the past 6 months

If you are 16 or 17 years old, a Canadian citizen and a resident of B.C., you can join the List of Future Voters. Then you will be automatically added to the Provincial Voters List when you turn 18. This will make it easier for you to receive information about voting from Elections BC

You can register on the Provincial Voters List or List of Future Voters:

  • Online: Elections BC’s Online Voter Registeration page
  • By phone – 1-800-661-8683
  • In person at the Elections BC office – #100-1112 Fort Street, Victoria

Local and band elections

Local and band elections are run by each band, region, or municipality that holds the election. Each might have a different process, but some parts stay the same. Usually, you must be a resident of the area for at least thirty days before the election day.

You can read this guide for local elections in BC to learn more.


During an election, Elections BC hires thousands of people across the province to work in voting places and their offices. Working during elections is a great way to build your resume, gain professional experience and meet new people in your community. You can check for job opportunities on Elections BC’s jobs page.

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