What you Should Know About Election Day

The following is intended for general information only. Each candidate is responsible for ensuring his/her compliance with the laws governing elections and the obtaining of any necessary legal advice.

What will Happen at Voting Stations on Election Day?

The Local Authorities Election Act describes the procedures for Election Day voting stations. The following is a brief summary of the day's events:

  • At 10:00 A.M. (or the time previously established by the jurisdiction) the voting station will open to voters and remain open continuously until 8:00 P.M. (sec 46)
  • The presiding deputy or another person presiding at the voting station, will immediately after the opening of the voting station, display the empty ballot box(es) to all present and then close and seal the ballot box(es). These boxes will remain closed and sealed during the hours of voting. (Sec 40)
  • To receive a ballot, unless the elected authority prepares a voters list, each voter must provide proof of identity and current residence and sign the prescribed voting register form which states they:
    • are at least 18 years of age
    • are a Canadian citizen
    • have resided in Alberta for the previous 6 consecutive months immediately preceding election day
    • are a resident of the municipality on Election Day
    • have not voted previously in this election
    • are eligible to vote for a Public School Trustee or a Separate School Trustee
  • In order to receive a ballot and vote, a person must sign the Voting Register.
  • A list of voters is not required for municipal elections in Alberta.
  • The voter will take the ballot to the voting booth, mark it, and bring the ballot back to the deputy supervising the ballot box. The deputy will verify the initials and promptly deposit the ballot in the ballot box. The deputy may allow the elector to deposit the ballot into the ballot box.
  • At 8:00 P.M. the Presiding Deputy Officer will announce that the voting station is closed. When all the voters inside the voting station at the time the station closed have voted and left, the ballots will be counted.
What are Candidates' Official Agents and Scrutineers and What Powers do they have?

A candidate's official agent and or scrutineer is an individual appointed by you to represent your interests at any voting station on Election Day (with the exception of voting stations held at institutions, extended care centers, senior's accommodation facilities and hospitals) You also have the option to act as your own agent, but only one official agent or scrutineer can represent you at any time at each voting station.

A candidate may not act as an agent for any other candidate.

A candidate's official agent must:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • have a written notice signed by you stating that they are your representative at a specific voting station
  • have not been convicted of an offence under the Local Authorities Election Act, the Election Act, the Canada Elections Act within the 10 previous years.

A candidate's scrutineer must:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • have a written notice signed by you stating that they are your representative at a specific voting station
  • complete Form 10 - "Statement of scrutineer" at the voting station
  • have not been convicted of an offence under the Local Authorities Election Act, the Election Act, the Canada Elections Act within the 10 previous years.

Candidate's official agents or scrutineers may remain in the voting station during Election Day to observe the conduct of the vote. While in voting station, you, your official agent or scrutineer must follow the voting instructions of the Presiding Deputy Officer. Official agents, scrutineers or candidates are not allowed to interfere with the voting process.

Agents may note any objections to a person signing the Voting Register (Form 8) while the statement (Form 8) is being completed, but the agent cannot prevent that person from voting. Agents wanting to examine the completed Voting registers (Form 8) must first receive permission from the Presiding Deputy Returning Officer.

When the voting station closes at 8:00 P.M. on October 16, 2017, you, your official agent or scrutineer may remain to witness the counting of votes and clean up procedures. You may sign the ballot account if you so desire.

See Section 69, of the Local Authorities Election Act

Section 150 of the Local Authorities Elections Act states that you, your official agent or scrutineer may observe the conduct of the vote, but may not interfere with the vote in any way. Prohibited activities by a candidate or an agent on behalf of the candidate include:

  • violating the secrecy of the voting station
  • interfering or attempting to interfere with a voter while the voter is marking his or her ballot
  • while at the voting station, attempting to obtain information as to which candidate a voter is about to vote for or has voted for
  • soliciting or canvassing votes in a building where the voting station is located during the hours the poll is open
  • displaying material on how to vote for a particular candidate
  • communicating with a voter in a voting station with respect to the election

Penalties for committing any of the above listed offenses range from a fine of not more than $5,000 to imprisonment for a maximum of 2 years, or both a fine and imprisonment.

Marking the Ballot

The elector, after receiving the ballots that he/she is entitled to receive, shall take the ballot(s) to the voting booth.

The number of ballots the elector will receive will depend on the results of nomination day.

Directions for marking the ballot will be printed on the ballot. Only one person is permitted in the voting booth at one time.

After the Ballot is Marked

After the ballot(s) are marked, the elector will fold the ballot(s) so the initials of the issuing officer are exposed ensuring the nature of the vote is not visible. The elector will return the marked ballot(s) to the Presiding Deputy who will verify the initials and promptly deposit the ballot(s) into the appropriate ballot boxes. The presiding deputy may permit the elector to deposit his/her own ballot(s). (Sec 63)

This process may vary slightly if the local authority conducting the vote is using electronic voting machines.

Electors who Need Help Marking Their Ballot

An elector who has difficulty marking the ballot or who cannot read English, may get help from another person. This person may be a friend or maybe the presiding deputy. The elector and the friend must make statements before the presiding deputy. If the presiding deputy assists the elector, the elector must make a statement before the presiding deputy. It is very important that each person's vote remains secret.

Blind and Visually Impaired Electors:

An elector who is incapacitated by blindness or another physical condition must make a statement, orally if required, before the presiding deputy marks the ballot. Or a friend of the elector may mark the ballot after making the prescribed statement in front of the presiding deputy. It is very important that each person's vote remains secret.

A blind elector may request a blind voter template. This request must be made to the returning officer 3 months before election day.

Check with your municipality or local school jurisdiction with respect to options for blind or visually impaired voters.

Electors with Special Needs:

There may be electors in your local jurisdiction with special needs. Please check with your local jurisdiction to determine if any of the following apply:

Institutional Vote:

Polls may be held in hospitals, seniors' accommodation facilities and extended care facilities.

Candidates, their official agents, and scrutineers are permitted to be present at an institutional vote. Please note that candidates and their official agents are not permitted to be present at the bed-to-bed voting in an institution.

See Section 81, of the Local Authorities Election Act

At Home Voting:

Electorate who are physically unable to go to the advance or election day voting stations

Special Ballot:

The elected authority may pass a resolution, no later than 6 months prior to nomination day, to provide special ballots.

Closing the Polls

At 8:00 P.M. the voting station(s) is closed. Any elector in the voting station, or in line, at 8:00 P.M. will be permitted to vote. Once all voting is complete, electors will be asked to leave the voting station. Candidates or their agents may remain to witness the count and clean-up procedure.

Declaring a Winner!

Unofficial results may be displayed by the returning officer. Check with your municipality or school jurisdiction to determine if the unofficial results will be posted and where.

The Official results will be posted by 12:00 Noon on the fourth day after the election. For most local authorities that will be Friday, October 20th, 2017. this report will state all the votes cast for each candidate and declare which candidates have won the election.