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UPDATE, 15 February 2021:

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak and return to Alert Level 5 in Newfoundland and Labrador, in-person voting has been cancelled across the province. Voting will now take place entirely through mail-in ballots. Elections NL is extending the deadline to apply for a Special Ballot to Friday, February 19 at 8:00 p.m. Completed voting kits must now be returned to Elections NL on or before Friday, March 5.

The application can be completed online and requires pictures of one or two pieces of approved ID to prove your name and current address. Even expired ID is acceptable, as long as it has your name and address. 

You can upload one piece that shows both your name and current address (e.g. a driver’s license), or you can upload two pieces which combined show your name and current address (e.g. a health card and residential lease).

If you don’t have any forms of ID, you still have options. You can have someone you know attest to your identity and current address by completing a Guarantor’s Form and showing proof of their IDs (proving their name and current address). Alternatively, you can complete an Affidavit For Identification, but you will have to get it signed by an official, such as a Judge, Barrister, Justice of the Peace, or Commissioner for Oaths. 

If you are unable to register online, registration can be done by phone. The Elections NL call centre operates until 8:00 p.m. each evening. To reach the contact centre, please call local or toll-free (1-877) 729-7987.

We will provide new updates about voting procedures or timelines in this preamble should more changes be announced. The rest of the article is preserved as it appeared prior to 12 February 2021.


We get it: it’s hard to muster the energy to voluntarily go through a bureaucratic process. Especially in winter. Especially when it feels like it won’t make much of a difference.

But voting in the 2021 provincial election is easier—and more important—than you might think. So the Independent is here to help you out.

Getting Informed

Sometimes the biggest barrier to voting can be feeling informed enough to cast a ballot. Not sure which district you’re in or who’s running? Find out here and here. Not sure what the candidates stand for? You can check out candidate websites if they have them and follow local media coverage (shameless plug here). 

Registering to Vote

If you’ve voted before, there’s a good chance you’re already on the voters list and don’t need to do anything. If you think you might not be on the voters list (or if you recently turned 18, changed residence, recently moved to the province, or changed your name), you can call or email Elections NL to check your status.

If you do need to register, you can fill out the application and email it or send it in by regular mail. The deadline to be added to the voters list for the 2021 Provincial General Election is Saturday, February 6 at 8 p.m. 

If you miss this, don’t worry! You can still vote. You can register at the time of voting in person through methods outlined below. You’ll just save time doing it in advance.  

Voting by Mail

You have until Tuesday, February 2 at 4:00pm to apply for a mail-in ballot. Anyone qualified to vote in Newfoundland and Labrador can vote by mail, and Elections NL will mail it to wherever you would prefer it to be sent. 

The application can be completed online and requires pictures of one or two pieces of approved ID to prove your name and current address. Even expired ID is acceptable, as long as it has your name and address. 

You can upload one piece that shows both your name and current address (e.g. a driver’s license), or you can upload two pieces which combined show your name and current address (e.g. a health card and residential lease).

If you don’t have any forms of ID, you still have options. You can have someone you know attest to your identity and current address by completing a Guarantor’s Form and showing proof of their IDs (proving their name and current address). Alternatively, you can complete an Affidavit For Identification, but you will have to get it signed by an official, such as a Judge, Barrister, Justice of the Peace, or Commissioner for Oaths. 

Once you receive your ballot and have decided who to vote for, you have until Tuesday, February 9 at 4:00pm for your completed voting kit to be received at Elections NL.

It’s important to note that after your voting kit has been issued, you’re struck from the voters list and considered to have voted whether or not you return your ballot. This means you won’t be able to vote at the advance poll or on election day. So make sure to send it in!

Missed the February 2 deadline and want to avoid potential crowds on election day? Not to worry! You still have more options.

Voting Early at any District Office

The deadline to apply to vote early at any district office is Saturday, February 6, 2020 at 6:00pm. Any qualified elector can choose to vote early.

Early voting is done by special ballot. You’ll need to complete an application and prove your name and address (same as when voting by mail). 

When the application is processed, the Special Ballot Officer will give you your special ballot voting kit, explain how to complete it, and provide you with the names of candidates running in your district. 

The deadline for your completed voting kit to arrive at district offices is Sunday, February 7 at 4:00pm. That deadline is extended to Tuesday, February 9 at 4:00pm for it to arrive at the Elections NL headquarters. 

Same as with a mail-in ballot, if you go through the special ballot application process you are struck from the voters list and considered to have voted, regardless of whether or not you complete and return your ballot. 

Want to just show up and vote? That’s pretty easy, too.

Voting at an Advance Poll 

Advance polls are going to be open on Saturday, February 6 from 8:00am to 8:00pm (half an hour earlier in most of Labrador) at multiple locations in each district. You can vote on this day at any of the indicated locations in your district. 

You can still vote at the polls if your name is not on the voters list. But you’ll be required to complete an oath (to confirm you are who you say you are) and present identification that shows your name, current address and signature (e.g. driver’s license, or combine a power bill and a credit card). 

Same as with the mail-in process, if you don’t have ID you have the option of another person completing a Guarantor’s Form or an Affidavit for Identification signed before an authorized official. 

There’s a third option of Visible Identification by an Election Officer. If a Deputy Returning Officer or Poll Clerk working at the polling station knows you, then they are able to confirm your identity for the purpose of voting.

Elections NL will be taking Covid-19 precautionary measures for in-person voting. You’re encouraged to bring your own mask to wear, but masks will be available for distribution at all voting locations if needed. 

Missed this day or just want to vote based on all the information that comes out during the course of the campaign? There’s always…

Voting on Election Day

You can vote the old-fashioned way on election day itself: Saturday, February 13. Polls will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. (half hour earlier in most of Labrador). 

All the information for voting at the advance poll applies here, except that to vote on election day, you can only vote at your assigned voting location which you can find here

Other Questions? Head to Elections NL.

Photo by Jennifer Griffin on Unsplash

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