Elections Canada: "Voting Hours Across Canada"
Elections Canada's table is in local time for each zone, but my table below translates the times to every other zone. For example, to find the relative opening and closing times of a poll in Toronto, Ontario, which is in the Eastern Time Zone, look along the third row from left to right - that Toronto poll closes at 9:30pm local time (highlighted in bold), which is equivalent to 6:30pm Pacific (looking left) or 11:00pm Newfoundland Time (looking right).
The last polls to close are those in the Pacific Time zone. For this election, it's mostly a matter of curiosity as to when the first results will trickle in, but last time a ban existed on publicly disseminating the results before the last polls closed. It was widely flouted and the law was changed.
The purpose of this chart last time was to show people when, in their local time zone, it would be legal to publicly disseminate the results. The purpose this time is to encourage people to vote even though the Toronto Blue Jays will be playing Game 3 of the American League Championship Series at the Rogers Centre and millions of people will want to be watching. The game will start around 8pm Eastern.
The Globe and Mail: "A very Canadian predicament: Vote or watch the Jays?"
Two important things to note from that article:
- "Every Canadian employer is required by law to give employees three consecutive hours to vote without loss of pay, or face a maximum penalty of a $2,000 fine and three months in jail. There are some exemptions for transportation-industry employers, and ultimately the timing of when workers are permitted to vote is up to the employer."
- "Listening to the game on radio or watching the baseball game by logging in to a cable subscription via smartphone would seem like a reasonable option while waiting to vote, except Elections Canada has clear rules on the use of electronic devices in polling stations. Smartphones are allowed only if used for retrieving and showing an electronic bill or invoice that proves one’s address and identity. There are also provisions for voters with disabilities to use a smartphone to read their ballot. Following the game on social media – or watching it live – are not among the permitted smartphone uses outlined by Elections Canada."
Anyway, if you're curious you can use my chart to find the opening and closing times of polls across the country in terms of your local time: if you live in Toronto, look up and down the sixth column to see that Newfoundland Time Zone polls close at 7:00pm your time, your polls close at 9:30pm your time (highlighted in bold), and the Pacific Time Zone polls close at 10:00pm your time.
As you can see, this is also the chart for opening times - simply read "am" where "pm". Most of Saskatchewan does not observe Daylight Time, which is currently in effect elsewhere. I could have titled the other columns "... Daylight", but that would have confused even more people. In the few cases where a riding spans more than one time zone (e.g. Nunavut), a common closing time is determined in advance. Results begin to be tabulated immediately after the polls for the riding have closed. For more information, consult the Elections Canada website.
Finally, get out and vote! And Let's Go Blue Jays!
|Zone of Poll||Pacific||Mountain||Central Standard (SK)||Central||Eastern||Atlantic||Newfoundland|
|Central Standard (SK)||6:30||7:30||7:30||8:30||9:30||10:30||11:00|
|Hours of concurrency||2||1.5||1.5||1.5||1.5||0||0|
Here is a visualization of the staggered polling hours, in terms of Eastern Time: