The Catholic Civil Right League urges all Canadians, but especially religious believers, to go to the polls on election day. “We could almost call it a holy day of civic obligation for Catholics,” commented Phil Horgan, vice president of the League.

The Canadian federal election will be held on 28 June, 2004. Current polls indicate that the election will be close, so every vote will count.

Canadians 18 years of age and over can vote by special ballot if they are residing in Canada outside their electoral district, or outside the country. Applications and instructions for special ballots can be downloaded from the Elections Canada website at, or obtained by contacting Elections Canada.

Applications for special ballots must be received by Elections Canada by 6:00 pm on the sixth day before the election, and must include a copy of a birth certificate, passport or other proof of citizenship. Completed ballots from citizens outside their electoral districts must reach Elections Canada before 6:00 pm on the day of the election. Details are available on the Elections Canada website.

“We know that there are numerous students attending school in the United States,” noted Sean Murphy, a western director for the League. “Some of them may be working there during the summer. We encourage them to apply for a special ballot as soon as possible.”

People who are unable to get to the polls in their own electoral districts may also apply for a special ballot. Special ballots must reach the returning officer in the district before polls close on election day. This option may be appropriate for some elderly or handicapped persons.

The Catholic Civil Rights League encourages Catholic organizations to help voters register, and help them get to the polls on election day.

“Organizations like the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Women’s League have long records of public service,” noted Murphy. “They are likely to be familiar with people who may need help with registration or transportation.”

The League also encourages offers of assistance to new citizens, who may be voting for the first time.

Elections Canada, 257 Slater Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 0M6
Telephone: 1 800 463-6868
Fax: (613) 954-8584
For the deaf or hard of hearing: TTY 1 800 361-8935


For more information contact: Philip Horgan, Vice President
tel: 416-466-8244, fax 416-466-0091, email: