The Right to Vote in Federal Elections: Then and Now - Voting Rights through Time

Infographic of the right to vote in federal elections

The infographic provides the following information:


  • Population of Canada: 3,230,000
  • Number of eligible voters: 361,028 (11%)

Who could vote?

Men born in the British Empire who were over 21 years old and owned property, including First Nations men who were willing to give up treaty rights.

Who couldn’t vote?

  • Men who did not own property
  • Women
  • Anyone under 21
  • First Nations who wanted to keep their status
  • People born in non-British countries


  • Population of Canada: 33,476,688*
  • Number of eligible voters: 25,939,742 (77%)

Who can vote?

All Canadian citizens over 18 years old.

Who can’t vote?

  • Anyone under 18 years old
  • Residents who are not Canadian citizens
  • Canadians living abroad longer than five years (with some exceptions)
  • The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada

*Based on 2015 election data