August 21, 2021



Elections Canada has threatened to turn away voters who show up in person to vote without a mask ahead of a national election on September 20th.

The Canadian elections agency held a press conference stating that those who had no medical exemption in areas that required a mask to be worn indoors would be turned away from polling stations and not allowed to cast their vote.

Chief electoral officer Stephane Perrault told Canadian media, according to the Toronto Star: “If you have a medical reason not to wear a mask then you will not be denied the right to vote.”

However, she went on to add that “if it’s just a matter of personal choice and the mask is mandatory in the jurisdiction in which you are voting, then we will apply those rules.”

Perrault recommended that anyone who did not wish to wear a mask while voting should vote by mail instead, with Canada expecting as many as five million people to cast their ballot by mail this year — compared to just 50,000 in 2019.

While Elections Canada also notes that ID is required to vote, it is not clear whether citizens will be asked to remove their masks at polling stations to allow officials to verify their identities.

Elections Canada has also stated that it does not expect the result of the federal election to be finalised until days after September 20th due to the need to count a large number of projected mail-in ballots.

According to Elections Canada, those requesting mail-in ballots must do so before September 14th and submit them before the polls close in their individual area, saying ballots received after the deadline will not be counted.

Unlike in-person ballots, Canadian mail-in ballots do not bear a list of candidates and require electors to manually write in the name of the person for whom they are voting.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the snap federal election on Sunday, reportedly feeling that he needed a majority in the country’s House of Commons to implement new coronavirus restrictions.

Shortly before the election announcement, the Trudeau government declared that it would require all federal employees to be fully vaccinated.

All air travellers and those taking trains to different provinces must also take the vaccine.

Unless a person can prove a medical exemption for inoculation, they will be forbidden from travelling by those means.