Chloe Tai is an Organizer on the New Majority leadership team, who has spoken to thousands of young people across Canada.

When someone says, “your voice matters!’’ How does that feel to you? 

I vividly remember sitting in class and being told my voice matters after a two- hour presentation by a guest-speaker at nine in the morning. I felt kind of sickly when I heard the stern rhetoric of “your voice matters!” something my classmates and I had all routinely heard once every two years since the sixth grade. My brain immediately clocked voting as something for my eighteen year old self to figure out. Even then, I was never a denier of voting. I knew it was important – but just felt that it wasn’t for me. My thoughts were that I didn’t know enough and was never going to know enough; my voice could matter but not so much in the grand scheme of things. Similar thoughts held true for most of my peers at the time and I still hear similar things from so many people I speak to nowadays. This blog post covers resources I used to change my perspective on voting and what I share with my peers when I hear them expressing their more than relatable and relevant discomfort surrounding the voting process in Canada. 

I took the time to get more information about what Elections Canada is to better understand my role (and theirs) in voting in Canada. 

What is Elections Canada anyway?

Elections Canada is an independent, non-partisan, agency of Parliament, responsible for conducting federal elections in Canada. The agency has a mission to ensure that all Canadians can exercise their democratic rights to vote and be a candidate. Maintaining the integrity of the electoral process is at the core of everything Elections Canada does. As such, it has many safeguards throughout the electoral process and is the main source for getting accurate information and resources about the electoral system in Canada. Elections Canada strives to make voting as equally accessible to all Canadians as possible. Through research, Elections Canada knows that there is still work to do in addressing barriers to voting for certain groups of Canadians, which includes Indigenous electors, youth electors and electors with disabilities. In order to address these barriers, Elections Canada has developed the Inspire Democracy program, focused solely on understanding and addressing the barriers to electoral participation for the identified groups and other emerging communities.

Here are some articles addressing voting for youth, research on barriers in place and resources to overcome those barriers:

Trusted Resources 

When things become overwhelming, some things need to be broken down simply and neutrally. 

It’s a lot easier to understand and build trust in the process, when things are written out clearly, without any political bias. The Elections Canada website provides all accurate and non-partisan information and resources on all things democracy in Canada. 

Understanding the voting process itself is a great place to learn about elections and can help to make more informed decisions and conclusions when researching from separate political bodies and resources. You may want to check out Toolkit 3 for this information on registering and voting. 

Elections Canada explores how your vote carries your voice, and the transparent safeguards in place to protect and validate each vote. I really felt the shift in my trust and confidence in the entire process but in my vote itself, once I became familiar with these aspects of the Elections Canada process.

Click here to explore more on the Democratic Process in Canada, safeguards and other Resources: 

How to Vote, Building Habits & What You Need

Here comes the voting part, the part that is crucial to actualizing all of this effort! In the last election, I went to to learn about how, when and where I could vote. There are four options when it comes to voting. There is, of course, the classic option of voting on election day.  The other three options are by mail, advanced poll and voting at a local Elections Canada office. 

There will also be Elections Canada offices on select campuses across the country. If you’re a student, you may be able to participate in Vote on Campus days, making it even easier to cast your ballot right from your school grounds.

At the polls, it’s important to make sure people know it’s you choosing to come out and actualize your goals. You’ll have to prove your identity and where you live through these options: 

  1. Show One of These: Your drivers license OR any other card issued by a Canadian government (federal, provincial/territorial or local) with your photo, name and current address.
  2. Show Two Pieces of ID: Both must have your name and at least one must have your current address. Examples include your voter information card and bank statement or utility bill and student ID card.

Here is the full list of accepted IDs under this option

If you do not have proper ID, you can still vote if you declare your identity and address in writing and have someone who knows you and who is assigned to your polling station vouch for you.

The voucher must be able to prove their identity and address. A person can vouch for only one person (except in long-term care institutions).

Identification Information

Here is more information on voting, how to register and how to vote! 

Making Your Own Decisions

When I used to hear phrases like ‘’Your voice matters!’’ I always felt pressure to do something; I wasn’t sure what that something was and I wasn’t even sure who I would be doing that thing for. As I grew older, I became more aware and developed in different areas of my life. I choose the ways in which I better take care of myself, what foods I put into my body, what clothes I love to wear and how to work towards my dreams of where I could live. I realized that the discomfort I felt around voting was because I had so many things that I cared about and knew I had to take action. But I didn’t feel confident in my impact and felt like I had to live up to a societal standard to vote- without really understanding how and why that vote was connected to my voice and the things I want to see change in. 

I now know that when someone says that my voice matters, I am empowered to look into how it matters and how to best use it to create the changes I believe in. Voting isn’t scary after all, I just needed more information about how the system works. 

Just like the gym, voting is one of the many actions we as individuals need to take in actualizing things through small actions – to support the things that matter to us. When you and I cast our ballot, it’s one more step taken in the right direction, in creating the lives we want to live. 

Voters Checklist


Have you ever considered running in a federal election? We think you’d be great at it. Check out these helpful toolkits from Elections Canada to learn more about being a candidate and working for Elections Canada during the election!