Historically, casting a ballot on Election Day often gave a sense of community when people lined up at the polls to vote.
This has generally been the case in the years since advance polling days became available as well.
With the pandemic, however, more Canadians are looking at other options to have their voices heard in the 44th Federal Election. Mail-in voting, which has actually been available for 30+ years, has gained popularity since the Sept. 20 election was called, as has casting a vote by special ballot.
And with election day nearing — time is running out to vote by mail.
For those wanting a mail-in ballot the deadline to apply is Tuesday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m.
The most important detail to note, is if you choose to vote by mail — or special ballot — then you are committed.
Once applied, you cannot change your mind and show up to vote in-person during advance polls or on election day itself.
To vote by special ballot in Trail, the office is located at 1050 Eldorado St. The local phone number posted is 1.866.434.1535.
Hours are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
To vote by special ballot, you must bring your ID that you would normally use to vote.
When you ask to vote by special ballot, Elections Canada staff will hand you a voting package and a list of candidates running.
The ballot will be blank and you will need to write in the name of the candidate you are voting for.
If you have decided who you are voting for, the ballot can be completed and put into a secure box that day.
If you take the special ballot home because you’re still undecided – in order to be counted – special ballot voting kits must be dropped off by the close of polls, either at the local Elections Canada office or at a polling place on election day.
Only special ballot kits with the return address of the elector’s local Elections Canada office will be accepted.
You are responsible for returning your marked ballot by the deadline or it will not be counted.
Those who prefer to vote by mail-in, the online application is very simple at Elections.ca.
If you prefer to vote at a polling station, advance voting days run over four days – Friday, Sept. 10, Saturday, Sept. 11, Sunday, Sept. 12 and Monday, Sept. 13.
In Trail the advance voting stations will be located in the Royal Canadian Legion. Advance polling hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
For those who prefer to vote on election day, stations will be open in the Trail Memorial Centrefrom 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Note that pandemic protocols are in place, including mandatory masks in all indoor locations.