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Andre Leveille leaves an advanced polling station in Montreal April 22, 2011. Canadians vote in a federal election on May 2, 2011. (Graham Hughes/The CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Andre Leveille leaves an advanced polling station in Montreal April 22, 2011. Canadians vote in a federal election on May 2, 2011. (Graham Hughes/The CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

The Vote

Your guide to voting and watching the federal election Add to ...

Monday is election day, when millions of Canadians will vote. At globeandmail.com, we've complied this simple question and answer to help you navigate through the day.

Also, this is a great time for you to get acquainted with all the live coverage we have planned for you on all our platforms. Whether you are at home in front of a TV, or on the go, we'll have a way to serve up the best news, results and analysis.

More related to this story

The Globe's coverage on election night

How do I find my polling station or riding?

First, if you don't know your riding, you can visit our riding pages. On the right, you can enter your postal code. While you are there, visit some of the riding pages, for example, where Elizabeth May or Jack Layton are running.

If you are registered to vote and have received a voter information card in the mail, the location of your polling station will be listed on your card.

Alternatively, the best way to find your polling station is to visit elections.ca and enter your postal code in the voter information search box. This will provide you with all the information you need to successfully cast your ballot on Monday. Click the link "Where do I vote?" to determine the closest polling station. Here you will also find the hours of operation.

How do I register to vote?

You must be a registered voter in order to cast a ballot Monday. While many Canadians are automatically registered, some are not. You can register by calling Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868. If you are not registered to vote on election day you can still cast a ballot. Simply go to your local polling station on election day with proper identification.

What type of identification do I need to vote?

  • Option 1: One piece of government-issued photo identification listing your name and address, such as a drivers license.
  • Option 2: Two pieces of authorized identification. Both pieces must have your name and one must also have your address, such as a heath card and hydro bill.
  • Option 3: Take an oath and have an elector who knows you vouch for you. This person must have authorized identification and be from the same polling division as you, such as a neighbour.

What times can I vote?

The first polls close at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and the final one closes at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Newfoundland: 8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Atlantic Time: 8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Eastern Time: 9:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Central Time: 8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Mountain Time: 7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Pacific Time: 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

The Globe and Mail's election coverage

How do I follow election results at globeandmail.com?

Live results will be available at globeandmail.com on a national, regional/provincial and individual riding basis. Results for every riding in the country will be available to view beginning at 10 p.m. ET. You can search ridings by province here.

You can also look up the results from your riding with our postal code lookup tool, located on most pages on the right-hand side.

On election night, our site will feature a prominent dashboard that will allow you to view a breakdown of results in a map of Canada, as well as by province and city.

Here's a sneak peak. You'll find links to them throughout the site. (Note the map below shows 2008 results.)

Election dashboard

When will we be publishing live election results?

We will have the most up-to-date results on the site beginning at 10 p.m. ET. The Canada Elections Act stipulates that results can't be published beforehand even though the first polls close earlier in the evening. We'll have other stories and a liveblog before 10 p.m. ET.

What other coverage should I expect?

As usual, you'll find all the stories and analysis on the regions and parties. Our election central is the best place for that as well as globeandmail.com.

We will be liveblogging the action.

Also, follow our @globepolitics and @globeandmail Twitter accounts.

If you want to be up late, we'll be up late too so continue to visit us after 10 p.m. ET for all the fast-moving action.

What about comments on the site?

Comments are temporarily closed from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT) in accordance with Act, which prohibits any Internet posts that disclose the election results of one riding while polls are still open in another riding. Comments will re-open once final polls close in B.C. at 7 p.m. PT

To share your thoughts in the meantime, please join our election-night liveblog at http://tgam.ca/election2011. We'll be publishing a selection of reader comments and questions there throughout the evening.

I have a smart phone. How do I find election results on my iPhone or Blackberry

After 10 p.m., we will have live national results as well as riding results on our Globe Politics application and our mobile website. Follow these links to get the app: iPhone and BlackBerry.

Our mobile site: http://m.tgam.ca/

I plan to watch elections on TV. How can I follow the election on globeandmail.com?

If you have an iPad, please check out our new Globe News app. Whether you're on a tablet or on a laptop, our riding pages will let you follow the races you want. And the elections 'dashboard' and map we showed you above will also work on your tablet or laptop.

Where do I find the party platforms?

All party platforms can me found on our Parties & Platforms site

Click here for links to each party and their platforms as well The Globe's platform comparison

Or you can view The Globe's summary of platforms by party:

Okay, I'm not familiar with races other than in my own riding. What do I look for on election night?

The Globe and Mail has been watching 50 key ridings over the course of the 2011 election campaign. Many of these are opposition-held seats that the Conservatives hope to win over while others are complete toss ups. Click here for a sortable table of our ridings to watch.

We've also compiled a list of the the leaders and notable candidates from all the major parties here.

Where can I find all the stories The Globe has written on each party?

What ridings are hotly contested?

Several ridings that would have been foregone conclusions only a few years ago are now toss-ups. Here are some of the most contested ridings. Click on the links for election results, as well as riding-specific stories and tweets.

Brampton - Springdale - Her strong campaign and controversies surrounding the possible inappropraite connections betwee her Conservative opponent, Par Gill, and Immigration Min Jason Kenney will not, we believe, save Liberal incumbent Ruby Dhalla.

Brampton West - We believe Liberal incumbent Andrew Kania will be bested by Conservative candidate Kyle Seeback. He barely took it last time, and now he has the NDP draining votes as well. .

Burnaby - Douglas The lack of an incumbent advantage looked to be a problem for the NDP at the start of the campaing, but the party's general surge should tip the balance in their favour..

Esquimalt - Juan de Fuca - Look for this Liberal-held riding to return to its Reformer roots as the rise in NDP support drain off enough support to hand the Conservatives a narrow victory.

Gatineau - Francoise Boivin, the Liberal candidate from 2008 is now running for the NDP in a riding that the Bloc won as a result of vote-splitting. The Bloc may now become a victim of vote splitting this time around..

Guelph - Maybe the most vulnerable Liberal riding in the country.

Kingston and the Islands - This was a famous swing riding (Flora Macdonald held it) until Peter Milliken became Speaker of the House. Now he's leaving, and it's in play again.

Outremont - This is a fight between former Liberal cabinet minister Martin Cauchon and NDP deputy leader Thomas Mulcair, but the NDP rise in Quebec may have put it out of reach for the Liberals.

Saint John - Three-time former Liberal MP Paul Zed's decision not to mount a comeback attempt was a break for Conservative incumbent Rodney Weston. The Tory is likely to regain the seat. But bettors looking to take a flier might be watching the NDP in this blue-collar town if that party's national momentum keeps growing.

St. John's South - Mount Pearl - An interesting three-way race has developed in this riding, which Liberal Shioban Caody poached amid the anti-Tory mood in the last federal election. The incumbent has done well and the NDP is making a spirited showing with repeat candidate Ryan Cleary. Conservative Loyola Sullivan,who won easily in 2006, is back to try to reclaim the seat.

Vancouver South - Liberal MP - and former NDP premier - Ujjal Dosanjh is likely to fall victim to his old party, as a split left-wing vote allows the Conservatives to eke out a gain.

Winnipeg North - The Liberals snatched this formerly safe NDP seat by a mere 813 votres in a Nov.2010 by-election. The NDP wants it back.

Read all the other predictions: SEE ALL 50 RIDINGS TO WATCH

Other election features

Compiled by Shannon Busta

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