Ontario election 2018: Students, hospital patients among those who have special voting rules

WATCH ABOVE: From Trust and affordability to healthcare and the carbon tax - the three people vying for top spot in Queen's Park touted their party's platform in the final televised leaders debate before voters head to the polls. Jamie Mauracher reports. (May 28)

While most electors in Ontario will be voting at the local polling station listed on their voter information card this election, there are different ways to vote available for those who unable to do so.

Here are those rules as set out by Ontario’s Elections Act and Elections Ontario:

ONTARIO ELECTION: How, when and where to vote


Prisoners are able to vote by mail through the special ballot program. They must request a special ballot by June 1 and receive a ballot kit. Voting through special ballot opened on May 10 and must be received no later than June 7. A prisoner can vote for a candidate in the riding they last resided in before being imprisoned, or the riding that their prison is in.

People who are homeless

People who are homeless are able to vote at a polling centre in the riding where they frequently access community services, such as shelters. Elections Ontario said it works with over 600 shelters, drop-in centres, food banks and other organizations in order to obtain a Certificate of Identity and Residence, which can be used to cast a ballot for people who may not have another form of identity.

Ontarians who don’t like their options can decline to vote — here’s how


While most post-secondary students will not have classes at the time of the provincial election, many might be away for summer classes. Those students can vote for a candidate in their home riding by mail with a special ballot. Students may also choose to vote at a local polling station for a candidate in the riding of their campus address, so long as they are able to provide proof of residence there.


People who are in the military and are stationed around the world are able to vote through a special ballot for a candidate in the riding of their last place of residence. They must register as an absentee elector. For those stationed elsewhere in the province, they can vote for a candidate in their home riding by requesting a special ballot. They may also vote at a polling centre for a candidate in the riding where they are stationed as long as they can provide proof of residence there.


Ontarians who left the country less than two years ago and intend to return are able to vote in the provincial election after registering as an absentee elector. They can vote by mail through a special ballot for a candidate in the riding where they last resided. There are no polling stations set up outside of Ontario.

Patients in hospital

Long-term hospital patients also have the opportunity to vote for a candidate in their home riding by hospital visit, but that finished on May 23. Patients are still able to vote by special ballot as long as they apply for one by June 1 and the vote is received by June 7.

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Also, if a person is unable to attend a returning office because of a disability, they can’t read or write, cannot complete an application form or require some kind of special assistance, they can request a home visit. Two election officials will then attend their home and bring a write-in ballot.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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