Frequently Asked Questions
Nursing Homes & Special Care Homes
Q. Can citizens with physical or mental disabilities vote?
A. Yes, all eligible electors may vote if they meet the qualifications of an elector.
A physical disability never affects a person's qualification to vote, and an elector who is unable to mark their ballot without assistance may be assisted by the Special Voting Officers, or a friend of the elector. A mental disability never affects a person’s qualification to vote. There is no legal basis for anyone, including a family member or staff member of a treatment centre, to deny someone the opportunity to vote because of some perceived mental disability in that person.
If a person cannot read or write, or needs help to physically mark the ballot, they can vote with the assistance of a friend, family member or a Ballot Issuing Officer or Special Voting Officer, as long as the voter is able to clearly instruct the person assisting them as to who they wish to vote for. A friend or family member may assist only one person during the election.
Q. What is an Additional Poll?
A. Additional polls are held mostly at nursing homes, special care homes, and extended care units of some hospitals. It is a poll which moves from bed to bed on election day to take the votes of eligible voters who are unable to easily vote.
Q. What are special ballots, and who can use them to vote?
I am, or know, a person who is ill at home and cannot go to the polls on polling day: how can I or my friend vote?
A. Special Ballots are a form of ballot used to allow voting by people who are outside of their own municipality, school district, or health region or who otherwise cannot or do not want to go to the polls. This includes home-bound voters, those in hospital, or those travelling, working or studying away from their ordinary residence during an election. Any returning office can issue a special ballot for a voter from any electoral region in the province.
For home-bound or hospitalized voters who wish to vote using a special ballot, election officials from the local returning office will take a ballot and ballot box to the voter to allow the person to vote independently. A care-giver spouse of a home-bound voter may vote at the same time, if they wish. Simply call the returning office to make arrangements to vote.
Voters travelling, working or studying in the province away from their ordinary residence during an election may vote at any returning office for candidates for their home municipality, school district, or health region. Those voters travelling, working or studying out of the province must contact their home returning office, which will send a ballot to them. In this situation, call or e-mail as soon as possible, to ensure your ballot can be returned on time.
Q. How can I vote if I live in a home for the elderly or in a chronic care facility? (These are electors who reside permanently in the institution. These electors do not have another place of ordinary residence.)
A. Contact the Returning Office to determine if your facility is going to have an additional poll come to the building on or before Election Day and go from bed to bed.
If not, alternate arrangements may be made by the Returning Office to provide Special Ballots either on a scheduled basis during the election for the facility, or on an individual basis by appointment.