CCD Chairperson's Update - July 2015

Did You Know…?

It is time to get ready to vote in the federal election - 19 October 2015.  This voter's check list gives tips to keep on track for voting:

  • Make sure you're registered to vote.
  • Watch for your voter information card.
  • Check that you have the right ID.
  • Choose one of many ways to vote.
  • Mark your calendar with key dates.
  • Plan how you'll get there.

Elections Canada (EC) informs Canadians about when, where and the ways to register and vote.  Go to for the information you need to be ready to vote.  In this edition of the Chairperson's Update, CCD is sharing EC information so that you are aware of what to expect when you go to vote.

Who Can Vote

You can vote if you are a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years old on election day and can prove your identity and address.

Register to Vote

You have to be registered to vote.  Go to to check, update or complete your registration.  You can also register by mail.  EC will send you a form to complete.  If you need assistance with registration, call EC at 1-800-463-6868 or TTY 1-800-361-8935.  After an election is called you can register at a local EC office or at the poll when you go to vote.  Registering in advance saves time on election day.

To register, you must confirm your identity and current address.  The EC website explains the ID accepted for this purpose.  EC is your best source of reliable information about ID for registration and voting.

Watch for your voter information card, which comes in the mail.  The card explains, when, where, the ways to vote and the accessibility of your polling place.  Check your name and address and contact EC if there are errors.

Get Your ID Ready for Voting

When you vote, you will need to show ID to confirm your identity and address.

Show 1 piece of government-issued ID with your photo, name and current address (e.g. driver’s licence or some provincial or territorial ID card.  Check the EC list to verify which ones are accepted.).


Show 2 pieces of ID. Both must have your name and 1 must have your current address (e.g. health card and a utility bill).


Take an oath. Show two pieces of ID with your name and have someone who knows you attest to your address. They must show proof of identity and address, and be registered in the same polling division. They can attest for only one person.


Take a completed letter of confirmation of residence to the poll and show one piece of ID with your name. 

Having a piece of ID that includes an address is difficult for some Canadians: people who live in a seniors' residence, long-term care facility, or shelter; people who live on the streets but use the services of a shelter or soup kitchen; students living on campus; First Nations persons living on a reserve or Inuit hamlet.

If any of these describe your living situation, you can prove your address using a letter of confirmation.  You can have the letter of confirmation form completed by the administrator of a First Nations band or reserve, an Inuit local authority, a student residence, seniors' residence, long-term care facility, shelter or soup kitchen.  Alternatively, EC also accepts a letter from the administrator printed on their organizational letterhead. 


There are 4 ways to vote:

  1. On election day at your polling place, which will be open for 12 hours.
  2. On one of four advance voting days, at your polling place, from noon to 8:00 p.m.
  3. In-person at any EC office.  After the election is called, you can vote at any EC office across the country.  Offices are open 7 days a week. After the election is called, check with EC for the deadline for voting at an EC office.
  4. By mail.  Apply online at to receive a voting kit.  Don’t wait! You need to allow enough time for your voting kit to reach you and for your marked ballot to reach EC by election day. Can’t apply online? Call EC at 1-800-463-6868 or TTY 1-800-361-8935.

There are several ways to find the location of your polling place:

  • Your voter information card tells you where to vote.
  • Once the election is called, go to and type your postal code into the Voter Information Service.
  • Call 1-800-463-6868 or TTY 1-800-361-8935.


EC's "Accessibility Policy and Service Offering" describes its approach to access for people with disabilities. It states, "Our long-term vision is for accessibility to be an ongoing process to provide inclusive, universal and flexible services that benefit everyone." EC explains the policy is a living document, which will be updated after the 2015 Federal Election. 

Polling place accessibility

  • Information on the accessibility of your polling places can be found on your voter information card or at
  • Either your polling place will have an automatic door opener, or an election worker will be at the door to provide assistance.
  • If you need assistance at any time in the voting process, please ask an election worker and tell them how they can help.
  • You can also bring a support person, friend or family member to assist you.  The voter with a disability makes the choice about who provides assistance.

Tools and services at the polling place to improve accessibility

  • Magnifier with light (4X).
  • Sign language interpretation (requested ahead of time).
  • Assistance in marking the ballot.
  • Tactile and Braille voting template.
  • Voting screen that lets in more light.
  • Braille list of candidates.
  • Large print list of candidates.

If you have comments about accessibility, fill out a feedback form at, at your polling place or speak to an election worker at your polling place or call EC at 1-800-463-6868 or TTY 1-800-361-8935. CCD encourages voters with disabilities to give feedback to EC about where they need to improve their service and what is working well to ensure the continuation of good practices. 

EC Will Be Hiring

EC will be hiring people to work during the election.  To work in an election, you need to:

  • Be a Canadian citizen.
  • Be at least 16 years old (priority given to 18 or older).
  • Live in the riding where you will be working (for most jobs).
  • Remain non-partisan.

On 23-24 July 2015, James Hicks, CCD National Coordinator, hosted a number of conference calls for CCD member groups, independent living centres and other disability groups, as part of a snowball campaign to get information out to Canadians that will help them get ready to vote in the 2015 election campaign. 

Other CCD Issues

Assisted Suicide - CCD was pleased that the federal Ministers of Justice and Health appointed an external panel to hear from Canadians about how to respond to the Supreme Court of Canada’s Carter judgment striking down the total ban on assisted suicide. In particular, the Government of Canada is interested in hearing the views of health care providers and the interveners in the Carter case. CCD and CACL were co-interveners. We will bring forward to the panel proposed principles and guidelines for a safeguarding system and hope that our views and concerns will be given a fair hearing in this most important of policy decisions.

Input to Heritage Canada - CCD provided input to Heritage Canada about issues of concern to the disability community that Canada could address when it responds to the List of Issues circulated by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in preparation for the Committee's meeting with Canada to review its 6th report to the Committee.  The Committee is seeking to determine the level of Canada's compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and it is concerned about the level of poverty in Canada.  CCD focused its attention on the disproportionate level of poverty experienced by people with disabilities and shared information from the Disabling Poverty, Enabling Citizenship research project to encourage Canada to provide robust answers to the Committee's questions about poverty.