As you may know, the day of this years election, October 21, conflicts with our observance of Shemini Atzeret, the final days of the Sukkot festival. Elections Canada is aware of this, and has laboured diligently to ensure that all can freely exercise their civic right and responsibility.
This year’s poll dates are not calendar-friendly for our people: they conflict with Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, two of the four Advance Poll days coincide with Shabbat (October 11 and 12) and that the two others coincide with Sukkot, October 13 and 14, 2019.
However, Elections Canada is aware of the conflict and has worked hard to ensure that our people can easily exercise their civic duty and right.
I’m pleased that Elections Canada has recognized the extra barrier presented to observant Jews here, and I urge all members of the Shaar community – whether personally observant or not – to proudly stand up and say, “I’m a proud Jew and a proud Canadian, and I take these seriously!” by publicly affirming both in the upcoming election.
RO Office (Returning Office)
Through October 15, electors may present themselves at their local Returning Office. The Returning Office is open daily, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 a.m.– 4 p.m.
The special ballot voting process at the office has been simplified to make the voting process more efficient, and minimize the time that it takes to cast a ballot. One agent may now add or update information on the list of electors and register electors to vote by special ballot. We expect the time needed to vote in the Returning Office will be cut in half as a result of this streamlined service. Electors can vote in any Returning office, not just the one for their ED.
The following are the locations and phone numbers of local RO offices:
- Halifax, 3600 Strawberry Hill Street, 1-866-204-8447
- Halifax West, Bedford Place Mall, 1658 Bedford Hwy, Suite 200, 1-866-204-8449
- Dartmouth, The Wright Place, 7 Mellor Ave, Suite 17, 1-866-204-8445
Elections Canada is planning to hold advance polls on 4 days – from Friday, October 11 until Monday, October 14. Advance Polls will be open from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily. Observant Jewish electors may attend on Friday, October 11 and on Sunday, October 13 until sunset.
Advance Poll locations for Halifax are as follows: NSCC (Leeds Street), The Forum (Almon Street), Halifax Central Junior High School (Preston Street), Cathedral Church of All Saints (Cathedral Lane), Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authourity (APSEA) (South Street) , Monsignor Leo Day Auditorium (St. Agnes Church Hall) (Mumford Road), St James Anglican Church Hall (Joseph Howe Dr), Cunard Junior High School (Williams Lake Road) , St Paul’s Parish Hall (Hebridean Dr, Herring Cove) and Harrietsfield Williamswood Community Centre (Old Sambro Road).
Vote by Mail
Special mail-in ballots may be applied for until October 15, and votes cast and received by October 21.
If you are voting in your riding, your ballot should be received by your Returning Officer before the closing of the polls in order to be counted.
If you are not voting in your riding (for example you got your ballot kit from another Returning Officer), your ballot should be returned at Ottawa, before 6:00 pm, Eastern time to be counted.
Electors may contact the local Returning Office to make arrangements for a mail-in voting kit or they can apply on-line to register and get a ballot kit. Contacting the local Returning Officer would be the most efficient method to obtain a mail-in voting kit.
Vote by Special Ballot at Post-Secondary Campuses
For 2019, Elections Canada has increased special voting services to more than 109 institutions, from 39 post-secondary institutions during the previous general election.
Voting services on campuses will be available on Sunday, Oct 6th – 12:00noon to 4:00pm, and on Tuesday, October 8, 10:00am – 6:00pm (Erev Yom Kippur). Halifax will have three campus voting locations – Dalhousie Student Union Building, Saint Mary’s University in the library and University of Kings College in the New Academic Building.