44th General Election
Low Demand for Mail-in Ballots
Elections Canada reported that as of September 8 at 11:59 pm, it had issued a total of 660,139 special mail-in ballots to electors and 196,887 have been returned to the agency.
Of the ballots issued, 556,906 — just over 84 per cent — went to electors who want to vote by mail while they reside at home, and 185,322 of these have been returned. People who are in Canada but outside of their riding have been issued 54,904 and 7,640 have been returned.
People living outside of Canada account for 48,329 of the Special Ballots issued and 3,925 have been returned. This is about the same as in the 2019 Federal Election.
As a general rule, electors who apply for a special mail-in ballot forfeit their right to vote in person. Exceptional circumstances, such as requesting a ballot but not receiving it, are accommodated; the elector must fill out a special form to vote in person. If their mail-in ballot is used it will not be counted, as the register of voters will indicate that in-person voting was exercised. Mail-in ballots are counted after in-person ballots.
The number of special ballots processed does not yet reflect the projection of anywhere from 2 million to 5 million people choosing to mail in their ballots. Whether this indicates that there will be a lower than normal voter turn-out or that people have decided that they will vote in person remains to be seen. Electors can request mail-in ballots up until 6:00 pm on Tuesday, September 14.