The following questions and answers have been prepared in anticipation of what you will need to know.
1. Is it possible to withdraw my nomination?
You can withdraw within 24 hours after the close of nominations: that is, before 12 Noon on September 19, 2017. Your notice of withdrawal must be submitted in person, in writing, to the Returning Officer at the local jurisdiction. Faxed notices of withdrawal are NOT accepted.
Your nomination cannot be withdrawn after the 24-hour deadline has passed, and your name will appear on the ballot.
In addition, you can only withdraw your nomination if the number of remaining candidates meet the number of vacant positions. In other words, if you are the only candidate running for School Board Trustee in your division or ward, you cannot withdraw your nomination. If you are running for councillor in a local jurisdiction with six (6) seats and there are only six (6) nominated candidates, no candidate may withdraw.
Nomination day is September 18, 2017. The deadline to withdraw nominations is September 19, 2017 at 12 noon.
2. What if no nominations are received for a particular position?
If an insufficient number of nominations for a position are received during nomination day, the Returning Officer will continue to receive nominations on September 19, 2017, at the local jurisdiction, between 10 a.m. and 12 noon.
Nominations will continue to be received at the same place between the same times until the required number of nominations has been received or a period of six working days, including nomination day.
3. What happens if the nominations received meet, but do not exceed, the number of positions available?
If the number of nominations does not exceed the number of positions available, after the close of nominations, the Returning Officer will declare the candidate(s) nominated for the position elected by acclamation.
4. What happens if a candidate dies after nomination day?
If the local jurisdiction has passed a bylaw providing for the death of a candidate prior to the opening of the voting stations on Election Day, the election for the position will be discontinued and a new election will be held.
If the candidate dies after being nominated and a bylaw has not been passed, the returning officer will post a notice of the death in a conspicuous location at all relevant voting stations.
6. What kinds of elector identification are valid for proving eligibility to vote?
For an elected authority that does not prepare a list of electors, or where the person's name does not appear on the list of electors, Section 53(1)(b)(i) establishes the general basic requirement for verification of the person's identity and current residence. Under this basic requirement, the voter must produce (A) one piece of photo identification with name and address that is issued by a Canadian government (federal, provincial, local, or an agency thereof), or (B) one piece of identification authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer under the Election Act with name and address.
Types of government-issued identification allowed under (A) must show the name, address and a photo of the elector and so examples of appropriate ID include:
- Operator/Driver's license
- Government photo identification card (for non-drivers)
Types of Chief Electoral Officer-approved identification allowed under (B) must show the name and address of the elector and so examples of appropriate ID include:
- Bank/Credit card statement or personal cheque
- Correspondence issued by a school, college or university
- Government cheque or cheque stub
- Income/property tax assessment notice
- Insurance policy or coverage card
- Letter from a public curator, public guardian or public trustee
- One of the following, issued by the responsible authority of a shelter or soup kitchen: Attestation of residence, letter of stay, admission form or statement of benefits
- Pension Plan statement of benefits, contributions or participation
- Prescription bottle insert
- Residential lease or mortgage statement
- Statement of government benefits, e.g. employment insurance, old-age security, social assistance, disability support or child tax benefit
- Utility bill, e.g. telephone, public utilities commission, television, hydro, gas or water
- Vehicle ownership or insurance certificate
7. The listing of identification authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer says that two pieces of identification are required. Does this mean that two pieces of identification are required under Section 53(1)(b)(i)(B)?
No, the listing authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer is referenced in Section 53 for purposes of establishing the types of identification that can be accepted, but not the number. The general basic requirement for municipal elections as set out in Section 53 is for a single piece of identification. The two-piece identification referred to in the Chief Electoral Officer listing reflects the number of pieces of identification required for provincial elections, but this does not apply to municipal elections.
9. Can an elected authority change the kinds of identification to be used by voters to prove eligibility, besides those mentioned in the LAEA, or change the requirement?
An elected authority can, at their option:
- expand on the list of types of identification that the returning officer can accept for purposes of the basic identification requirement set out in Section 53(1)(b)(i) (A) and (B); or
- require more than the basic requirement of one piece of identification as set out in Section 53(1)(b)(i) (A) and (B); or
- specify the types of identification that the returning officer can accept for purposes of the additional identification that the elected authority requires to verify name and current address, or age of an elector.
11. Will elected authorities have sufficient time to pass a bylaw regarding voter identification requirements as required by Section 53(3) of the Act?
Elected authorities may pass a voter identification bylaw six months in advance of nomination day under Section 53(3).
12. Can the elected authority require more than one piece of identification that establishes the person's identity and current residence?
Yes, under Section 53(3) of the LAEA, an elected authority may pass a bylaw authorizing additional forms of documentation to establish the elector's name, current address, and if required, age. to the basic requirement set out in Section 53(1)(b)(i).
The bylaw would also need to establish what types of identification will be accepted for purposes of the additional requirement. Section (1)(b)(i), the elected authority should ensure that the additional requirements can be reasonably met by eligible voters.
13. Can the elected authority require identification to establish the person's age?
Yes, under Section 53(5)(b) of the LAEA, an elected authority may pass a bylaw authorizing additional forms of documentation to establish the elector's age.
The bylaw would need to establish the number of pieces of identification that are required to verify age.
The bylaw would also need to establish what types of identification will be accepted for purposes of the age verification requirement.
In order to ensure that eligible voters can reasonably meet an age verification requirement, it is recommended that the local bylaw to establish the types of identification that will be accepted for age verification include, at a minimum, the types of identification referred to in Section 53(1)(b)(i).
14. Can the local bylaw restrict or remove the types of identification that can be accepted for purposes of the basic identification requirement.
No, the elected authority can expand on the types of identification that can be accepted for purposes of verifying the person's name and address, but cannot remove the basic requirement set out in Section 53(1)(b)(i).
The returning officer must accept the types of identification referred to in Section 53(1)(b)(i)(A) and (B) for purposes of satisfying the basic identification requirement in Section 53(1)(b)(i). Note: this requirement must be explicitly provided for in the local bylaw. (Section 53(6))
15. If the document that verifies the person's address is in the name of the person's spouse or immediate family member, can it be accepted as verification of current residence together with a second piece of identification that establishes the voter's identity?
No, not unless the elected authority includes this type of identification in their local bylaw as an acceptable type of identification that the returning officer can accept for purposes of the basic identification requirement set out in Section 53(1)(b)(i).
An exception to this requirement is made where the person's eligibility to vote in a summer village election is based on property ownership as set out in LAEA Section 12(b), as discussed in the following question.
16. How do the identification requirements apply to summer village property owners who wish to vote in a summer village election under the provisions of LAEA Section 12(b)?
Under LAEA Section 12(b), the person's eligibility to vote in a summer village election may be based on property ownership, and not necessarily on residence as set out in Section 47.
Under the LAEA section 12(b), Summer Villages have unique sets of eligible voters. Voters who are considered permanent residents of the summer village that would qualify under section 47. Voters who are 18, Canadian citizen, and named on the certificate of title of the person owning the property. Voters who are 18, Canadian citizen, and are the spouse or adult interdependent partner of someone named of the certificate of title as owning the property.
Identification requirements as set out in section 53 apply to summer village elections. Electors are required to show identification of name and current address and sign the voting register prior to being permitted to vote. A person does not have to provide proof of property ownership to vote in a summer village election.
17. If the voter's identification shows a post office box number as the address instead of a residential or legal address, can this be accepted as verification of current residence?
Yes, a mailing address can be accepted as verification of current address if it is in reasonable proximity to the voting jurisdiction.
An elected authority could, by bylaw, require additional verification or a combination of verification to establish the person's specific current address.
18. What kind of ID is necessary for citizens who reside in an institution and lack access to personal items such as identification cards?
Elected authorities may pass a bylaw allowing additional types of identification for electors who may not have access to government-issued photo identification or to the identification listed in the Chief Electoral Officer-approved listing on the Elections Alberta website.
For example, the local bylaw could expand the types of identification that could be accepted to include correspondence issued by a hospital, auxiliary hospital, nursing home or seniors' or special care accommodation facility attesting residency, such as a letter of stay, admission form, or patient profile sheet that includes the name and current address of the person.
19. How do the voter identification requirements affect students?
If the person is a student who meets the conditions set out in Section 48(1)(d)(i),(ii), and (iii), they are deemed to reside with those family members at their permanent address. The basic requirement to verify current residence will require the student to provide proof of residence at the address of the permanent residence with their family members.
If the student has left their family's area with the intention of making their residence elsewhere as provided for in Section 48(1)(e), then the normal requirement set out in Section 53(1)(b)(i) to provide proof of their current residence will apply.
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