According to the issue ownership theory of voting, voters identify the most credible party proponent of a particular issue and cast their ballots for that issue owner. Despite the centrality of this voter-level mechanism to ownership theories of party behavior, it has seldom been examined in the literature. We explore this model and offer a refinement to its current understanding and operationalization. Returning to the roots of ownership theory, we argue that the effect of issue ownership on vote choice is conditioned by the perceived salience of the issue in question. Through individual-level analyses of vote choice in the 1997 and 2000 Canadian federal elections, we demonstrate that issue ownership affects the voting decisions of only those individuals who think that the issue is salient.