Taking time off work to vote

You are entitled to 3 hours in which to vote on voting day. This does not mean you can take 3 hours off work. It means you’re allowed to be absent to give yourself 3 hours of voting time.

Typically this is at the start or end of your working hours. For example, voting hours are normally from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. If your working hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., you are entitled to leave 1 hour early so that you would have from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to vote.

Your employer may decide when it would be most convenient for you to be absent in order to vote. For example, if you work from noon to 6 p.m., your employer may decide that you should come in at 1 p.m., rather than leave work at 5 p.m.

Voting from your home

Your municipality may provide opportunities for you to vote without having to go to a voting place:

  • municipalities may offer voting options such as vote by mail or vote by internet
  • municipalities are required to provide a voting place in certain retirement homes and long-term care facilities

Contact your clerk for more information about how you can vote in your municipality.

Appointing a voting proxy

If, for any reason, you will be unable to personally cast your ballot, you may appoint someone to go to the voting place and cast a ballot on your behalf. This person is called your voting proxy.

To appoint a voting proxy, you and the person you want to vote for you must fill out 2 copies of the Appointment for Voting Proxy Form (Form 3).

You must know who you want to appoint as your proxy when you fill out and sign the form. The person you want to appoint must be eligible to vote in the election, and should be someone you trust to mark the ballot in the way you have instructed them to.

The earliest that you can appoint a proxy is the beginning of August 2018. Contact your clerk to find out the deadline for appointing a voting proxy.

Voting by proxy may not be available if your municipality offers other voting options such as vote by mail, telephone or internet.

Being a voting proxy

If someone has appointed you as their voting proxy you must take the completed forms to the municipal clerk to get them certified. Once the forms have been certified, you may cast a vote on behalf of the person who appointed you.

If you are appointed as the proxy for one family member you may also be appointed as the proxy for additional family members.

Family member refers to a spouse, sibling, parent, child, grandparent or grandchild. There is no limit to the number of times you may be appointed, but it must only be for family members. You cannot be appointed as a proxy for a non-family member and a family member at the same time.

If you are appointed as the proxy for a person who is not a family member, you can act as the proxy for this 1 person only. You cannot be a proxy for anyone else.

Power of attorney or executors

The only way to vote on someone else’s behalf is to be appointed as their voting proxy.

You cannot vote on someone’s behalf if you only have legal or medical power of attorney or are acting as a person’s executor or in any other representative capacity.