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PSA: How to Vote in the 2023 Territorial General Election if You’re Away from Home

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Yellowknife (September 20, 2023) - While the territorial election has been delayed to November 14, 2023, some NWT residents may still be temporarily unhoused or away from their ordinary place of residence. Elections NWT has taken the necessary steps to ensure that those residents can vote in the election with as little disturbance as possible.

Well before this summer’s events, Elections NWT had been preparing for a range of potential disruptions, ensuring that alternate plans were in place and the organization was as ready as possible for any disruptions that might occur.

This extensive advance work, which included creating the first full set of rules and regulations for online voting, ensures that voting will be a safe and secure process for all NWT residents and that online voting is just one of several secure alternatives to showing up in person at your polling station on Election Day:

Online Voting

At any time after October 3, voters can request an online ballot, from Elections NWT’s Absentee Ballot Application page. Once the nomination period closes on October 20, they will receive a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and a link to the Elections NWT website, where they will be able to securely complete and submit their ballot online. Online ballots must be completed before 8:00 PM on November 14, 2023.

Voting by Mail

This involves the same process as applying for an online ballot. After October 3, voters may request a mail-in ballot from the same Absentee Ballot Application page, by selecting the mail-in option. A paper ballot will then be mailed to you. It must be returned to the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer by 8:00 PM on November 14, 2023.

Voting in the Office of the Returning Officer

Voters who can’t to make it to the polls on November 14 can cast their ballot in the Office of their Returning Officer in the weeks prior to the election. This can be done by contacting your local returning officer, arranging to show up during their regular working hours, then presenting ID and requesting a ballot, as you would at a polling station on Election Day.

Voting in the Office of the Returning Officer will take place during office hours between October 24 and November 11, 2023.

Here is a list of Returning Officers and the communities they serve.

RO Office Hours: 10-1; 4-6pm Monday to Friday, 10-2pm Saturday during the election period.

Vote Anywhere Initiative

This year, Elections NWT is running a trial “Vote Anywhere” model, in which eligible voters from smaller communities will be able to cast a ballot for their home electoral district from central returning offices in Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Smith or Inuvik. This model ensures ease of access to voters from smaller communities who may be temporarily located in one of the NWT’s larger centres, for medical, educational, employment or other reasons, or for those who live closer to a large centre than the community where their Returning Officer is located. The Vote Anywhere model will be available to any voter with up-to-date information in the Register of Electors who presents valid proof of identity to the Returning Officer.

The Vote Anywhere model takes place during voting in the office of the Returning Officer, from Tuesday, October 24, to Saturday, November 11, 2023.

Advance Polls

Advance polls for communities without a resident Returning Officer will happen on November 7, 2023.

Mobile Polls

Mobile polls are intended for voters who are unable to physically attend a polling station on election day. They may request their ballot be brought to them by their Returning Officer, contacting them directly by phone or email (see list of Returning Officers here). Applications for mobile polls may be made from October 31 to November 3, 2023. Mobile Polls will be administered between November 7 and November 10, 2023.

For more information, contact Elections NWT at:

General Inquiries:


(867) 767-9100

(toll-free) 1-844-767-9100


3rd Floor, YK Centre East

#7, 4915-48th Street

Yellowknife NT X1A 3S4

Office Hours:

Monday to Friday

8:30 AM. to 5:00 PM