Election Day - October 18, 2021
Voting Hours: LAEA s.46
The returning officer and presiding deputy returning officers are responsible for ensuring all voting stations for the local jurisdiction during Election Day are open continuously between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
For institutional votes on election day, the returning officer sets the times at which votes in the institution shall be taken.
The local jurisdiction has the authority to pass a bylaw prior to June 30th of the
election year to allow for the voting stations to open before 10:00 a.m.
Promptly at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, the returning officer or presiding deputy returning officer must declare the voting station closed. If there are electors in line and in the voting station at the time of closing, they are allowed to vote; however, no other person arriving at the voting station after close are allowed to vote.
Voting Times for Employees: LAEA s58
An employee who is also an elector of a local jurisdiction must have three consecutive hours for the purposes of voting while the voting stations are open on Election Day. If the employee’s hours of employment do not allow for three consecutive hours, the employer must allow the employee any additional time necessary for voting. The time granted is at the convenience of the employer.
Although the time allowed must be granted at the convenience of the employer, the
employer cannot make any deduction of pay from the employee and must not impose any penalty on the employee’s absence from work during the three consecutive hours.
Sealing the Ballot Box: LAEA s.40
It is the responsibility of the presiding deputy returning officer at each voting station
to immediately, after the opening of the voting station, show each ballot box to the persons present at the voting station to ensure that the ballot box is empty.
The ballot box is required to be closed and sealed, ensuring it cannot be opened without
breaking the seal, and placed in the view of the presiding deputy for the deposit of ballots.
The presiding deputy returning officers are required to keep the ballot box closed and sealed during voting hours and in the view of all those present in the voting station. The ballot box should be visible to any candidates, scrutineers or official agents observing the process.
If additional ballot boxes are required during voting hours, each ballot box should be shown to all those present to ensure the ballot box is empty. The boxes should then be closed and sealed in accordance with the above process and be kept in view of all those present at the voting station for the duration of voting hours.
Secrecy of the Vote: LAEA s.55
All voting during elections must be done by secret ballot.
When an elector is in a voting compartment for the purposes of marking their ballot, no other person, other than those permitted in section 78, may enter the voting compartment or be in a position to see how an elector marks their ballot.
It is an offence under the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA) for an elector to show
their ballot to any person that will allow the elector’s vote to be known.
In the event a minor is accompanying an elector, the deputy returning officer may permit the minor to go into the voting compartment with the elector.
Instructions for Voters: LAEA s.45
The returning officer and the responsible presiding deputy returning officers located at each voting station are responsible for ensuring the instructions for voters are displayed, as set out in Form 10 – Instructions for Electors (available on Alberta.ca).
The instructions must be printed in a clearly legible and readable format and posted in the voting station and all voting compartments for the duration of Election Day.
If it is the desire of the local jurisdiction, the instructions may also be posted in languages other than English.
Number of Votes: LAEA s.57
An elector may vote once for each person the elector chooses but may not vote for
more than the number of persons to be elected to an office.
In addition, an elector may vote once on each bylaw or question.
Persons Objected To: LAEA s.54
If a candidate, official agent or scrutineer objects to a person who makes a statement, a deputy is required to note in the voting register the reason for the objection and the name of the candidate, official agent, or scrutineer who is making the objection.
The objection is only allowed to be made at the time that the elector is making their
If the returning officer, on reasonable and probable grounds, believes a person is not
an eligible elector, the returning officer must make a note in the voting register, indicating the reason and initial it.
Even when an objection is made by a candidate, agent, scrutineer or returning officer, the person objected to is still provided with the ballot(s) they have requested. Section 93.1 requires any elector registers with objections noted to be kept separate from the rest of the registers and placed in a packet at the completion of the counting of the ballots, which will not be sealed into the ballot box.
Elector Register & Issuing the Ballot
LAEAs.59 The deputy returning officer must record on the voting register that an elector
received a ballot for the purposes of voting for the elected offices necessary.
LAEAs.60 At the time the deputy is issuing the ballot, they must ensure the ballot is folded and initialed by the deputy so that the initials are visible without opening the ballot.
LAEAs.61 The deputy may, by their own discretion or at the request of the elector, explain as concisely as possible, the proper method of voting in accordance with the instructions of electors.
Election officials must not answer questions regarding candidates or, in the case of a vote on a question or bylaw, questions relating to any matters other than the proper method of voting.
Interpreter: LAEA s.72
If an elector is unable to read or does not understand the English language, the deputy returning officer may allow an interpreter to read or to translate the statement and the elector’s response.
Prior to the interpreter acting in this capacity, they must complete the statement in the prescribed form (Form 17 – Statement of Interpreter,
Elector who is Unable to Vote in the Usual Manner, Friend or Relative of Elector who is Unable to Vote in the Usual Manner – available on Alberta.ca).
Marking and Disposal of Ballots: LAEA s.62
On receiving a ballot from the deputy returning officer, an elector must proceed to the voting compartment and shall mark the ballot:
- by placing an “X” on the right hand side opposite the name of the candidate of the electors choice; or
- in the case of a ballot for a bylaw or question, by placing an ”X” within the division of the paper marked “for” or “against” or within the division of the paper marked “yes” or “no”.
LAEA s.63 After an elector has marked their ballot, the elector must fold their ballot in a way that will conceal the names of the candidates and the marks on the ballot, while showing the initials of the deputy returning officer that issued the ballot at the voting station.
After leaving the voting compartment, the elector must immediately proceed to the deputy returning officer responsible for the ballot box. The deputy must, without unfolding the ballot, verify the initials on the ballot and deposit the ballot into the ballot box. The deputy may also allow the elector to deposit their ballot into the ballot box if the elector chooses.
LAEA s.64 After the elector has deposited the ballot into the ballot box, the elector must
immediately exit the voting station.
A person whose ballot is deposited into the ballot box is officially deemed to have voted.
Replacement of Spoiled Ballots: LAEA s.65
An elector who inadvertently made an error on their ballot or made an error that would cause the ballot to be spoiled (i.e.: marked their ballot for more than the number of candidates required to be elected) may return their ballot to the deputy returning officer who provided it to them.
The elector must indicate to the deputy returning officer that an error was made on the ballot.
The ballot does not get deposited in the ballot box.
The deputy returning officer must provide the elector with another ballot in place of the returned ballot.
The deputy returning officer must immediately write the word “SPOILED” on the returned ballot and preserve it in the appropriate envelope or packet, as specified in s.91.
Elector Declining to Vote: LAEA s.66
If an elector returns a ballot and states that the elector is declining to vote, the elector is no longer entitled to another ballot for that elected office.
The deputy returning officer who is supervising the ballot box must deposit the declined ballot into the ballot box.
Prohibited Removal of Ballots: LAEA s.68
No person who has received a ballot for the purposes of voting shall take the ballot out of the voting station.
A person who received a ballot from the deputy returning officer and who leaves the voting station without delivering the ballot to the deputy forfeits their right to vote in the election.
The deputy must record on the voting register that the person left the voting station without first delivering their ballot to the ballot box.
Persons at the Voting Station: LAEA s.67
The only individuals permitted at the voting station for the purposes of the election are the returning officer, deputy returning officers, constables, candidates, official agents or scrutineers (who are authorized to attend) and the electors who are engaged in voting.
The returning officer or presiding deputy returning officer may authorize a person to temporarily observe the voting procedures from a location designated in the voting
The designated location must not allow for the observation of how electors have marked their ballots.
Any person who has been permitted to be in the voting station must leave on the request of the presiding deputy returning officer.
Option for Official Agents: LAEA s.68.1
Each person nominated as a candidate may appoint an elector to be the candidate’s official agent.
The duties of the official agent are assigned by the candidate. The candidate may appoint a new official agent by immediately notifying the retuning officer in writing of the contact information for the new official agent.
Any person who has, within the previous 10 years, been convicted of an offence under the LAEA, the Election Act or the Canada Elections Act is not eligible to be appointed as an official agent. In addition, no candidate may act as an official agent for any other candidate.
Candidate’s Scrutineers: LAEA s.69
Candidates may appoint scrutineers for the purposes of observing the voting process during the advance vote and Election Day.
To be a scrutineer, the person must be at least 18 years of age and must present to the presiding deputy returning officer a written notice, in a form acceptable by the returning officer, signed by the candidate and stating that the person is representing the candidate as the candidate’s scrutineer at the voting station.
Prior to the scrutineer observing the process, they must make and subscribe, in the presence of the returning officer or presiding deputy returning officer, a statement in the prescribed form (Form 16 – Statement of Scrutineer or Official Agent available on Alberta.ca).
Only one of a candidate, official agent or scrutineer may be present at the voting station at a time.
Any person who has, within the previous 10 years, been convicted of an offence under the LAEA, the Election Act or the Canada Elections Act is not eligible to be a scrutineer.