Elections exist for you to make your opinion known. If you can't be bothered to leave your work or home long enough to vote for your city council or provincial/state government or national leader, there aren't many people who will be willing to listen to you complain when the elected leader does something you don't like. To make it easier for you to get out and vote, there will be polling stations set up all over town on election day. Here's how to find one and vote.

Prior to election day, you will receive a card in the mail. This card confirms that you are registered to vote and at which polling station. Voter registration cards are sent out to people based on who is registered as the owner or what address is listed in your official records for taxation and motor vehicle registration. If you have moved and not changed your address in the government databases, your card may go to the wrong address and you will have to contact them to have it changed. You will also have to contact the election authority if you have not received a card.

Many people assume that they can vote at whichever polling station is convenient for them, whether it's the one near their offices or the one nearest the grocery store they use. In some cases you may be able to vote where you like, but in most cases you will be automatically registered to vote at the polling station nearest your place of residence. Showing up at the wrong polling station may only get you directions to the correct station, as election results are usually required to be tallied based on electoral district, meaning you will throw off the tallies if you vote outside your district.

Election authorities are required to accommodate any special need you may have, but they are not psychic. If you need help getting from your home to the polling station, require the choices to be read aloud to you, or need room in the voting booth for your wheelchair, you will have to inform them in advance. Simply dial the number on the voting card that corresponds to the special needs services department.

If you are going to be out of your home city on election day or you cannot leave home to vote, you may vote by mail in what is called an absentee ballot. Again, let the election authority know you require an absentee ballot if they have not already mailed one to you at your current location. Some register with the government when they go abroad, while others do not. If you don't, you'll have to ask for your ballot.

You should take a moment to read "Why Should People Vote In Elections".

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