Voting on the Platform
In 1828 at Perth, Upper Canada (now Ontario), candidates and election officials survey the crowd from the platform where voters had to stand and publicly declare their electoral choice. The secret ballot was not introduced until 1874.

Past A History of the Vote in CanadaPresent Federal Elections TodayFuture The Future is in Your Hands
British North America (1758-1866)From a Privilege to a Right (1867-1919)The Modern Franchise (1920-1997)
Responsible GovernmentThe Right to Vote is JeopardizedVoters and Confederation

Only Affluent Men May Vote
In the colonies that would later form Canada, only a small part of the population could vote. The privilege was reserved mainly for affluent men. The franchise was generally based on property ownership: to be eligible to vote, an individual had to own property or other assets of a specified value. Paying a certain amount in annual taxes or rent could also qualify an elector. Women were excluded from the right to vote, as were various religious and ethnic groups. In the case of women, however, the exclusion was a matter of convention rather than law.

Canada adopted the universal right to vote in 1920 for citizens at least 21 years of age, but with several restrictions. The last restrictions were lifted in 1960.

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