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Clock ticking for Canadians abroad to return voting kits for upcoming election

Last Updated Sep 15, 2021 at 1:49 pm EDT

Mail in ballot to be used for federal election. CITYNEWS/Josef Fazio

Elections Canada is reminding Canadian voters abroad that time is running out to mail back their ballots

More than 54,000 have been issued to Canadian voters living abroad, with over 13,000 returned as of Wednesday morning

Mail-in ballots must be received by Elections Canada no later than 6 p.m. ET on Monday

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – This federal election has set a new record for special ballots sent outside of the country.

More than 54,000 have been issued to Canadian voters living abroad. That figure is up from the 34,000 special ballots issued last vote.

Dana McCune is one of the many who has voted from the U.S. She’s living in Oregon, but grew up in Mission, B.C.

“We’re still Canadian citizens, and I would like to come back,” she told NEWS 1130.

While she’s voted, McCune says she hasn’t seen much coverage about the election. She feels a bit removed from the situation, saying not many people in her area seem to care about the Canadian vote.

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“I think it would be very easy to just kind of come down here and live in the American bubble and not know what’s happening in Canada, at all, ever,” McCune said.

There are hundreds of thousands of Canadians living in the U.S.

Point Roberts has many dual citizens living there. However, Brian Calder with the Chamber of Commerce doesn’t expect everyone to participate in Monday’s election.

“I’m not aware, personally, of any, although several of us, including me, would be entitled,” he explained.

“Even though they have a Canadian passport, they are voting in the U.S.A., not in Canada,” Calder added.

Deadline Monday at 6 p.m. ET

Any Canadian over the age of 18 and who has lived in Canada at some point in their lifetime is able to vote in this country. To do so, citizens are required to apply for a mail-in ballot. When voting, they are also required to provide a copy of either certain pages in their passport, a copy of their citizenship card or certificate, or a copy of their birth certificate showing they were born in Canada.

The deadline to request a special ballot was Tuesday, Sept. 14.

For those who have received their ballot and have yet to send it back, Matthew McKenna with Elections Canada says the clock is ticking.

Votes returned to Elections Canada as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15. (Courtesy Elections Canada)

“Depending on where they are, it might be tight getting it back,” McKenna said, noting the deadline for Elections Canada to receive a mail-in ballot is Monday, Sept. 20 at 6 p.m.

“Every voting kit does come with a pre-paid, pre-addressed return envelope,” he explained.

As of Wednesday morning, more than 13,000 voting kits had been returned to Elections Canada from abroad.

In total, there have been more than 606,000 votes returned to Elections Canada, including those made in-person.