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Topic – All About Elections

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All About Elections

Did you know an election is like organizing a big public event? For people to participate, they need information about when and where it is going to happen. Organization is the key!

Elections give citizens the opportunity to choose people they would like to represent them in office. During an election, a candidate is voted into office to represent the people of a specific area. In federal and provincial elections, this specific area is called a riding or a constituency. In a municipal election, the area of a city that a candidate is elected to represent is called a ward. It is important to divide areas into ridings or wards to make sure people of all communities are
fairly represented in the selected government.

When is an election called?

In Canada, federal and provincial elections are called at least every four years. Municipal or local elections are called every two to five years, depending on the area. The date for a federal election is chosen by the prime minister. He or she then notifies the governor-general so that Parliament can be dissolved. The chief electoral officer is also informed of the date of Election Day. The prime minister usually tries to hold an election when voters feel the government is doing a good job and when all major bills have been passed. In that way, there is a better chance that the government already in office will be re-elected.

Who runs an election?

All federal elections are organized and run by an agency of parliament called Elections Canada. The purpose of Elections Canada is to make sure the rights of all eligible Canadian voters are protected. The person in charge of an election is called the chief electoral officer (CEO). Their job is to make sure the election is organized and runs smoothly.

Usually, before an election, Elections Canada makes sure that their eligible voter lists are up to date. The process of doing this is called enumeration. The people who come to your household to check the names of eligible voters are called enumerators. Enumerators give eligible voters an Elector Information Card to be used on Election Day. Elections Canada includes voters who are new Canadian citizens or who have moved.


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