The right to vote in the official language of your choice in federal elections
All Canadians have the right to vote in the official language of their choice in federal elections.
Voting is one of the most important ways people can influence a government’s decision-making process. As a symbol of Canadian democracy, Elections Canada is responsible for identifying and removing barriers to participating in federal elections.
You need to be able to understand all the information that is given to you during every stage of the voting process in a federal election. You also need to feel free and confident to exercise your fundamental right to vote in the official language of your choice in federal elections, no matter where you live in Canada.
Specifically, this means that you have access to:
- bilingual services in designated offices across the country, including the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, polling sites, advance polling stations, returning offices in your riding and external points of service;
- bilingual services through Elections Canada’s telephone service;
- documents of equal quality in English and French, including publications, posters, forms, ballots and instructions; and
- content of equal quality published simultaneously in both official languages on Elections Canada’s website, on its social networks and in its advertisements.
If you feel that your language rights have been infringed, please file a formal complaint with the Office of the Commissioner.
Complaints to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
During each federal general election, the Office of the Commissioner receives a large number of complaints from many locations across Canada about service to the public on election day and at advance polls. This is a recurring problem that we are actively working on.
We are continuing to work closely with Elections Canada to help it better meet its language obligations to Canadian voters.
- Results of the questionnaire on voters’ official languages experience during the federal general election on October 21, 2019
- 2019: Audit of Services Provided to Electors in English and French by the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada – Follow-up
- 2015: Audit of Services Provided to Electors in English and French by the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada