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Understanding democracy and elections

Election period milestones

Summary

Each election period has key moments in which electors can exercise their right to vote, run for office, or apply to work in the elections.

Provincial

It all starts with the writ of election

A writ of election is a written decision issued by the executive branch, i.e., the Government of Québec. When the time comes to hold a provincial general election, or when a seat becomes vacant in the National Assembly, a writ of election is issued to trigger the election period.

Since 2013, provincial general elections are generally held on a fixed date. However, the Premier retains the right to ask the Lieutenant Governor to dissolve the National Assembly before the end of the four-year term.

For electors

During the election period

The electors will receive a notice that allows them to check whether their name is correctly entered on the list of electors. This notice shall include the days and times on which they may:

  • Register or make changes to their entry on the list of electors
  • Vote in the advance poll

A few days later, electors receive a reminder card that indicates them where to vote on election day, and which candidates are running in their electoral division.

21st to the 4th day before election day

Electors can register or modify their entry on the list of electors.

10th to the 4th day before the election day

Electors have access to various advance polling methods depending on their situation.

Election day

Electors who did not vote at the advance polls may exercise their right to vote.

For candidates

Between the 2nd day after the writ and the 16th day before the election

Those who wish to run as candidate may file a nomination paper.

For the organization of the election

At the time of the writ of election

Returning officers open their offices in each electoral division.

About two weeks before the election

The ballot papers are printed.

Election day

The election officers count the ballots and Élections Québec publishes the results.

Day after the election

The results announced the day before are verified by a vote count.

One week after election day

The time limit for requesting a judicial recount has expired. Now, the Chief Electoral Officer may send the official declaration of election to candidates elected to the National Assembly.

Municipal

The municipal election period lasts 45 days

  • 44 days before the election: official start of the election period.
  • 30 days before the election: last day to file a nomination paper.
  • Between 45 days and 12 days before the election: period for applying for entry or for amending one's entry on the list of electors. Please note that the days may vary, so consult your notice of entry or contact your returning officer.
  • 7 days before the election: advance polling. In some municipalities, there is more than one day of advance polling. Consult the public notice or ask your returning officer.
  • Election day: All electors who have not already done so may vote.

School board

The school election period lasts 45 days

  • 44 days before the election: the election period begins
  • 35 days before the election: deadline for filing nomination papers
  • 19 days before the election: last day to apply for registration or to request a change to the list of electors
  • 7 days before the election: advance polling day
  • Election day: all electors are invited to vote

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