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Federal Elections in Canada A quick guide to what happens during federal elections in Federal Elections in Canada A quick guide to what happens during federal elections in Canada for the classroom www. elections. ca

Test Your Knowledge Elections Canada Jeopardy! 2 www. elections. ca Test Your Knowledge Elections Canada Jeopardy! 2 www. elections. ca

About Federal Elections What comes to mind … in one sentence? When you think About Federal Elections What comes to mind … in one sentence? When you think of federal elections in Canada … 3 www. elections. ca

What Is Elections Canada? 4 www. elections. ca 4 What Is Elections Canada? 4 www. elections. ca 4

What Does Elections Canada Do? • Conducts federal elections, by-elections and referendums • Enforces What Does Elections Canada Do? • Conducts federal elections, by-elections and referendums • Enforces the Canada Elections Act, including political financing • Conducts voter education and information programs • Supports the independent boundaries commissions in adjusting riding (electoral district) boundaries • Studies alternative voting methods and can test these methods for future use during elections 5 www. elections. ca

Canada’s Federal System Source: Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, Citizenship and Canada’s Federal System Source: Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, p. 29. www. elections. ca 6

The Canadian System: First Past the Post • Also known as “single member plurality” The Canadian System: First Past the Post • Also known as “single member plurality” system • Winner-takes-all system: ü In each riding, the candidate with the highest number of votes wins a seat in the House of Commons ü There is no need for a candidate to obtain more than 50% of the vote • The party that wins the highest number of seats is normally asked to form the government • This party’s leader normally becomes Prime Minister 7 www. elections. ca

When Do Federal Elections Happen? Constitution Federal Law Anytime! Every five years Every four When Do Federal Elections Happen? Constitution Federal Law Anytime! Every five years Every four years (fixed date) Next election: October 2019 If government loses confidence of majority in House of Commons Electoral Period Minimum = 36 days Maximum = none 8 www. elections. ca

Delivering a Federal Election 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. The election call Delivering a Federal Election 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. The election call Election set-up Reaching out to electors (you and me!) Registering and voting Results on election night After the election Preparing for the next election 9 www. elections. ca

1. The Election Call • The Chief Electoral Officer receives the Governor General’s proclamation, 1. The Election Call • The Chief Electoral Officer receives the Governor General’s proclamation, instructing him or her to conduct a federal election • Elections Canada appoints a returning officer in each riding Marc Mayrand • The Chief Electoral Officer issues a writ Chief Electoral Officer of Canada to each riding, confirming election day Appointed by a unanimous vote in the House of Commons and instructing the returning officer to hold an election in that riding 10 www. elections. ca

2. Election Setup 2015 federal election by the numbers: 26, 808, 942 Over 200, 2. Election Setup 2015 federal election by the numbers: 26, 808, 942 Over 200, 000 69, 200 64, 000+ 400 308 119 91 Electors on voters list Election workers hired Ballot boxes Polling stations (at about 15, 000 polling sites) Local Elections Canada offices set up within days of election call Returning officer’s offices Additional assistant returning officer’s offices Tractor-trailer loads of election materials shipped to local offices 11 www. elections. ca

3 a. Reaching Out to Electors Objective: To ensure that electors have the information 3 a. Reaching Out to Electors Objective: To ensure that electors have the information they need to exercise their right to vote! 12 www. elections. ca

3 b. Outreach to Electors • Voter information cards sent to all registered electors 3 b. Outreach to Electors • Voter information cards sent to all registered electors ü 2015 federal election: 26, 808, 942 • Reminder brochures ü Over 13 million homes • • • Targeted revision in high-mobility areas Community relations officers Advertising campaign Elections Canada website (Voter Information Service page) Enquiries unit (1 -800 number) Media relations 13 www. elections. ca

3 c. Youth-Focused Awareness • “Leave Your Mark” cards to unregistered youth • Community 3 c. Youth-Focused Awareness • “Leave Your Mark” cards to unregistered youth • Community relations officers for youth • Door-to-door canvassing in high-mobility areas like student neighbourhoods • Polling sites in residences on campus • E-mail bulletins to student associations and youth groups 14 www. elections. ca

4 a. Registering to Vote Ongoing: • National Register of Electors: permanent database since 4 a. Registering to Vote Ongoing: • National Register of Electors: permanent database since 1997 • 95% coverage • Updated continuously Online registration: • Verify and update your registration online at www. elections. ca During an election: • A voter information card and a reminder card are sent to all registered electors • Make corrections through your local Elections Canada office 15 www. elections. ca

4 b. Who Can Vote? Three criteria: • Canadian citizen • 18 years of 4 b. Who Can Vote? Three criteria: • Canadian citizen • 18 years of age or older • Having a piece of authorized ID (or having a person from your polling station vouch for you) 16 www. elections. ca

4 c. Many Ways to Vote! Before Election Day: • • • On Election 4 c. Many Ways to Vote! Before Election Day: • • • On Election Day: Advance polls Voting by mail Voting at RO offices Mobile polls Special voting rules for Canadian Forces, people living abroad, incarcerated voters • Election day at your polling station • Interpreters (language barriers) • Services for electors with disabilities 17 www. elections. ca

4 c. Many Ways to Vote! But what about: ü Internet voting? üOnline registration? 4 c. Many Ways to Vote! But what about: ü Internet voting? üOnline registration? 18 www. elections. ca

4 d. Voting on Election Day Canada is a large country, with six time 4 d. Voting on Election Day Canada is a large country, with six time zones • Staggered voting hours allow the majority of ballots to be counted at the same time • Polling stations are open for 12 hours • Polling station address is on voter information card; or find it at www. elections. ca 19 www. elections. ca

5. Results on Election Night Ballots are counted at polling stations Results are fed 5. Results on Election Night Ballots are counted at polling stations Results are fed into the results system and are available immediately on the Elections Canada website 20 www. elections. ca Media have access to the same election night results feed

6. After the Election • • • Results are validated Local Elections Canada offices 6. After the Election • • • Results are validated Local Elections Canada offices are closed Parties’ and candidates’ campaign expenses are audited Each returning officer returns the writ to the Chief Electoral Officer Winning candidates’ names are published in the Canada Gazette Two reports to Parliament: 1. Areas of importance/requiring attention 2. Recommendations report -- makes suggestions to improve future elections (may also propose changes to the Canada Elections Act) 21 www. elections. ca

7. Preparing for the Next Election • Maintain the National Register of Electors • 7. Preparing for the Next Election • Maintain the National Register of Electors • Continue to identify local offices • Maintain and prepare to distribute election materials and computer equipment; maintain staffing levels • Continue to inform and educate Canadians about voting and the electoral process • Continue to identify ways to improve accessibility to voting 22 www. elections. ca

2015 Federal Election How many eligible Canadians do you think voted in the 2015 2015 Federal Election How many eligible Canadians do you think voted in the 2015 federal election? Everyone? Almost all? Just over half? 23 www. elections. ca

Just Over Half Democracy in Decline In 2011 it w as the seco 68% Just Over Half Democracy in Decline In 2011 it w as the seco 68% in 2015 www. elections. ca nd-lowest 24 turnout in C anadian hi story!

Just Over Half 25 www. elections. ca Just Over Half 25 www. elections. ca

Discussion Period • • • Why are young people not voting? What are the Discussion Period • • • Why are young people not voting? What are the challenges? What do you suggest? What might motivate you? What can you do now to prepare for later? 26 www. elections. ca

How Can You Get Involved? • Stay informed about the issues that affect you. How Can You Get Involved? • Stay informed about the issues that affect you. There are lots of ways: • • • Participate in student elections Talk to your teacher about doing an election simulation Talk to your parents and friends about politics Join a political party or advocacy group Be an ambassador! Encourage others to vote! During the next federal election, check out the Elections Canada website to find out how you can work for us! 27 www. elections. ca

More Information Elections Canada www. elections. ca Parliament of Canada www. parl. gc. ca More Information Elections Canada www. elections. ca Parliament of Canada www. parl. gc. ca Tools for the Classroom www. bit. ly/election-education 1 -800 -463 -6868 28 www. elections. ca