Federal election 2021: Advance polls open for Waterloo Region residents

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Advance polls opened in Waterloo Region and across Canada on Friday for voters who want to cast their ballot ahead of Election Day on Sept. 20.

Anyone going to an advanced polling station should bring ID with their address on it. Residents should bring their voter information card, if they received it in the mail.

Voters are asked to wear a mask and maintain two metres of physical distancing between themselves and other voters and poll workers.

Here is more information on all the ways you can vote in the election:

ADVANCE POLLS

Advance polls will be available for voters from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sept. 10, 11, 12 and 13.

Information on where to vote in advance polls will be included on voter information cards, which should arrive in the mail by Sept. 10.

VOTE BY SPECIAL BALLOT

Voters can go to an Elections Canada office before Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. to vote by special ballot.

Here's how voting by special ballot works, according to Elections Canada:

  • An election worker asks for proof of address.
  • The worker confirms your information and asks you to verify it on a computer screen.
  • The worker gives you a ballot and instructions. People can ask for a list of candidates in their riding if needed.
  • The ballot is marked behind a voting screen and returned to the election worker.
  • You are given two envelopes, and the ballot is placed into the unmarked inner envelope and sealed. That envelope is put into a second envelope and sealed.
  • You need to read and sign the declaration on the outer envelope.
  • The envelope is placed inside a ballot box.

Elections Canada offices are open seven days a week. On Monday to Friday, hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The offices are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Here's where to find an election office in Waterloo Region:

  • Elections Canada, 20 Ottawa Street North, Kitchener
  • Elections Canada, 101-725 Bridge Street West, Waterloo
  • Deer Ridge Centre, 4273 King Street East, Kitchener
  • Elections Canada, 6 Arthur Street North, Elmira
  • Smart Centres Cambridge, 4-46 Pinebush Road, Cambridge

VOTE BY MAIL

Anyone wanting to vote by mail through a special ballot needs to apply by Sept. 14 at 6 p.m.

If approved, Elections Canada will mail you a voting kit, where you write the name of the candidate on your ballot.

The voting kit needs to be mailed back to Elections Canada prior to Election Day.

VOTE ON ELECTION DAY

Election Day is Sept. 20.

Your voter information card will information about where to go to cast your ballot.

Polls are open for 12 hours on Election Day, from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Ontario.

Anyone voting needs to be 18 or older on Election Day, and bring documentation to prove your identity and address.

Elections officials said voting may take more time this year due to safety measures in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.