Participating in the Manitoba Election

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The province will have an early election this term. The premier moved up the provincial election to September 10 this year instead of the set date (October 6, 2020). This means that it will be an exciting summer for Manitobans as we are expected to go to the polls twice within two months. The federal election is slated for October 21, 2019.

Who can vote:

To be eligible to vote in a provincial election, you must be:

  • A Canadian citizen
  • At least 18 years old
  • A resident of Manitoba for at least 6 months before the election

Most Canadians are included in the Manitoba Voter Register. If you are the first-time voter or if you recently moved, check to verify that your name is there. You can now do this online.Check to see if you’re registered, or to register, or update your information on this page: Voter Registration Service.

You can still participate in the electoral process even if you’re not a citizen and can’t vote yet. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about how decisions are made in the provincial government and how Manitobans actively participate in the province’s progress. You can directly participate by volunteering and supporting a campaign, either by helping out a political party that you like or by contributing money. You can also help out in community efforts to help educate voters and encourage them to vote. If you’re interested in working for Elections Manitoba, you can check out job opportunities here: Employment opportunities at Elections Manitoba.

Who will you vote for? (if you are eligible to vote)

Manitoba has 57 constituencies (or electoral divisions). Each one is represented by a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). MLAs represent their constituents’ interests, giving them a voice in the legislature. This is why it is important for voters to ensure that the MLA that they choose will represent the values they believe in and the policies that they hold most important in making their lives better (to see who your current MLA is, go to: Who is my MLA? Look for your electoral division or search using your address). Just like in the federal system, the leader of the political party with the most votes becomes the province’s premier. The premier’s role is like the prime minister’s but on the provincial level.

It is important to note that electoral division boundaries are changing for the election in September. To check, go to: What is my electoral division.

There are six registered political parties in Manitoba:

  1. New Democratic Party of Manitoba – NDP (Wab Kinew, leader)
  2. The Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba – PC (Brian Pallister)
  3. Manitoba Liberal Party – Lib. (Dougald Lamont)
  4. The Green Party of Manitoba – GPM (James Beddome)
  5. Communist Party of Canada – Manitoba – CPC-M (Darrel Rankin)
  6. Manitoba Party – MP (David Sutherland)

Get to know each party’s platforms and plans for the province by going to their respective websites and reading the news. Know the candidates, review their track record, and learn about their plans and proposals to meet the urgent issues the province is facing. Compare and evaluate. Learn all that you can before you vote to make it count. The list of candidates may be found at: Candidates: 42nd General Election.

What do you need to vote?

Registered voters will receive information by mail about where they can vote. There are several ways to vote:

  • On election day at your polling place – If you are voting at the polling place, you will need to bring identification.
  • Advance poll – Advance voting is held for eight days, beginning the Thursday 12 days before election day and until the following Thursday. You will also need to bring identification.
  • By absentee – If you will not be in Manitoba or Canada on advance voting days or election days, you can apply to be an Absentee Voter. For eligibility, requirements and dates for application, go to: Absentee Voting.
  • At home – If you are prevented to come to a voting place due to disability, you or your caregiver may vote at home by contacting your returning officer. To know how to apply and other accessibility options, go to: Services and Voting Options.

Terms you may encounter:

Constituency – The specific geographic area that a Member of the Legislative Assembly represents in the province. This is also called the riding or electoral district.

Political parties – These are associations, organizations or affiliations of voters who form a political organization. One of its purposes is to endorse and support candidates in elections.

Writ day – The start of the election period which can begin with the issue of the writ between 28 to 34 days before election day. The writ is a formal written order instructing the returning officer in each electoral district to hold an election (The House of Commons).

Campaign – A campaign is a planned set of activities that people carry out over a period of time to achieve something such as social or political change.

Poll – (verb) Election. The polls (noun) refer to the places where people vote in a political election.
Sources: Elections Manitoba; The Legislative Assembly of Manitoba; and Manitobans go to the polls Sept. 10 for provincial election, The Canadian Press, CTV News. Accessed June 20, 2019.

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Community Resources

Download the MANITOBA PROVINCIAL ELECTION: Voting information for New Canadian Citizens handy guide.

For questions about the provincial elections, go to Election Manitoba’s Frequently Asked Questions page.

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