A named link for anchors.

Election day in Calgary-Lougheed was December 14, 2017 | Click here for unofficial by-election results

Mobile menu icon. Resize screen font.

FAQ

Expand All

  • What does the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) do?

    The CEO is a non-partisan officer of the Legislative Assembly. He administers the Election Act (the Act) and the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act (EFCDA). The CEO also ensures that elections are fair and that everyone follows the same rules.

    Under the authority of the Act, the CEO provides guidance and supervision for the conduct of all provincial enumerations, general elections, by-elections, and plebiscites.

    Under the authority of the EFCDA, the CEO handles the collection, examination, and public disclosure of registration and financial documents, relating to provincial political entities.

  • Why do we have provincial elections?

    We hold provincial elections so voters in the province can decide on who will represent them.

    We call this representative a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). We elect one MLA per electoral division.

    • Most MLAs belong to a political party, and the party with the most MLAs elected forms the government.
    • Working together, MLAs makes policy decisions and pass laws that will affect everyone in the province.
  • What is a political party?

    Political parties are groups of individuals who work together in government. They promote their common needs and interests. They also run candidates in elections that support these values.

    Anyone can form a political party. But, only parties that become registered with Elections Alberta appear on the ballot.

  • How do I register a political party in Alberta?

    There are three ways to qualify a party for registration (per Section 6 and 7 of the EFCDA). You must:

    • Hold 3 seats in the Legislative Assembly
    • Endorse candidates in at least half of the electoral divisions in the province, or
    • Collect a petition of names to show support for your intent to register the new party

    NOTE: If you choose to collect names, you must collect at least 7,868 signatures. (This represents a total of one-third of one percent, of the total number of electors eligible to vote in the last general election – May 5, 2015.) We base this on the post-polling day List of Electors per Section 19 of the Election Act. (This list contained 2,622,775 eligible electors in December of 2015.)

    See section 6(2)(d) of the EFCDA for more information on petitions.

    Before registration you must also:

    • meet all the requirements in section 7(1), and
    • establish a non-profit corporation or trust as a pre-registration foundation.

    See sections 6(3)-(6) for details.

    Holding a name

    To reserve a party name, while you are collecting signatures, you must contact Elections Alberta in writing. We ask that your letter state the party name that you wish to have held, and any abbreviation associated.
     
    EA will then contact you, in writing, to give approval or disapproval.
     
    Most requests will receive approval, so long as they are appropriate and distinct. That is, something unique enough to avoid confusion with other parties or names held.
     
    If approved, the name and any associated abbreviations will remain held for 6 months from the date of approval. This should allow for the completion of any outstanding requirements.
     
    If you need more time, you may apply for an extension. You will get a 3-month extension, so long as:
    • you make the extension request in writing no later than 2 weeks before your deadline expires;
    • the reason for the extension is for more time to gather signatures, and you state that; and
    • before your request for an extension, no other person has applied with a similar name or abbreviation.
    You may only apply for two 3-month extensions for holding the name and abbreviation. There will be no extensions given past the one year point. After one year, to continue a petition to register a political party, you must submit a new request. The process must also begin again from the start. No names or signatures from the previous petition can carry over.
  • Do I have to be on the List of Electors in order to vote?

    Yes; but, if you are not on the list, you can:

    • add your name online using Voterlink, or
    • during an election period, add your name by contacting the returning officer in your electoral division, or
    • add your name on Election Day by completing the Declaration of Elector at the polls.

    Click here to view the list of Authorized Identification required to register.

     

  • I have moved since the last election. Where do I vote?

    Electors must vote in the polling subdivision in which they live. To have your name moved to the correct list of electors, you may:

    • Contact Elections Alberta, or
    • Make the changes using Voterlink

    Or, during an election, you can additionally:

    • Contact the Elections Alberta call centre,
    • Contact the local returning officer, or
    • Have changes made at the poll – by completing a declaration of elector.

    Click here to view the list of Authorized Identification.

     

  • I have just become a Canadian citizen. How do I vote?

    If you are over 18 years of age, and have lived in Alberta for at least a full 6 months before Election Day, you are eligible to vote.

    First, you will need to register:

    • Contact Elections Alberta, or
    • Register online using Voterlink

    Or, during an election, you can additionally:

    • Contact the Elections Alberta call centre,
    • Contact the local returning officer, or
    • Have changes made at the poll – by completing a declaration of elector.

    Click here to view the list of Authorized Identification required to register.

    Second, you will need to go to the correct polling station. We can provide this information to you.  
     
    Then, third, follow the instructions of the election officers present at the poll. You’ll get a ballot and be able to vote.
     
    It’s that easy!
  • How do I know my information will be kept confidential?

    Elections Alberta commits to protecting your privacy. Any information we maintain is for electoral purposes only.

    The law further limits how we distribute or use your information. Any information we share is subject to physical and electronic safeguards. We trace persons who attempt to misuse such information. Any misuse of information may result in fines up to $100,000, imprisonment for up to one year, or both.

  • Who is eligible to vote in a provincial general election in Alberta?

    To vote in Alberta, you need to be:

    • A Canadian citizen
    • 18 years of age or older
    • Ordinarily a resident of Alberta for at least the past six months

    You must also be a registered voter to cast a ballot.

    Section 178 (4) (e) and 181 (1) of the Election Act additionally list persons ineligible to vote at an election. (These sections detail persons ineligible as a result of corrupt practices.)

  • What type of identification do I need to vote?

    Click here to view the listing of Authorized ID.

  • Do I get time off work to vote?

    Polls are open from 9 am until 8 pm on Election Day.

    Under the law, Section 132 ensures that all voters receive 3 consecutive hours to go vote. But, this does not always mean that you will get to take time away from work. Here’s how it works:

    Example 1

    If you are working a shift from 9 am until 5 pm, you still will have 3 consecutive hours to vote – from 5 pm until 8 pm. Thus, because you have 3 consecutive hours available to vote, you are not entitled to any extra time off.

    Example 2

    If you are working from 10 am until 6 pm, you would be able to take some time away to vote. You could either receive two hours in the morning (9 am until 12 pm), or one hour in the evening (5 pm until 8 pm). This way, you are still given 3 consecutive hours to vote. But, your employer retains the choice of which window of time you get to take.

    Also note… your employer cannot deduct from your pay or impose a penalty for your going to vote within the 3 hour period.

    See the Act here: Election Act

  • How can I vote if I plan to be away on Election Day?

    If you plan to be away during Election Day, you have two options:

    Option 1: You may vote at an advance poll.

    Advance polls take place the week before Election Day. They are open from 9 am to 8 pm each day, on the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

    During an election, a complete list of advance polls is available for this purpose. Note that we also publish the list online and in several local newspapers.

     

    Option 2: You may vote using a Special Ballot

    If you are unable to vote at the advance polls or on Election Day because you are:

    • physically incapacitated,
    • away from your electoral division,
    • serving as an inmate,
    • an election officer, candidate, official agent or scrutineer, or
    • living in a remote area, as defined in the Election Act

    You may apply for a Special Ballot. You can apply:

    • in writing,
    • by telephone,
    • by fax or by email,
    • in person, or
    • online.

    Consider these options well in advance of Election Day, if you believe you will need to use one.  Our staff will do their best to assist you with your situation.

    Also remember that our staff must still follow the rules of the electoral process. Any electors who have not made arrangements in time may find themselves unable to vote.

    Once you receive your special ballot, you must complete and return the ballot before 8 pm on Election Day. Ballots received after this time will not count as a valid ballot. We reject all late ballots.

     

  • If I am working or travelling away from home, where do I go to vote?

    Per section 43 of the Election Act, an elector must vote using the address of their ordinary residence.

    An elector can only have one place of ordinary residence. We define this as “the place where a person lives and sleeps; and, to which, when the person is absent from it, the person intends to return”.

     

    Residency Examples:

    Working away – A person from Edmonton, working in Fort McMurray, must vote using their Edmonton address. You would contact the returning officer who is managing your Edmonton area.

     

    Travelling – A retiree who resides in Nanton, who has been snowbirding in Arizona for the last six months, but intends to return to Canada, must vote using their Nanton address. You would contact the returning officer who is managing Nanton.

     

    How to vote – Option 1: You may vote at an advance poll.

    Advance polls take place the week before Election Day. They are open from 9 am to 8 pm each day, on the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

    If you are able to make an advance poll, we recommend this option.

     

    How to vote – Option 2: You may vote using a Special Ballot.

    If you are unable to vote at the advance polls or on Election Day because you are:

    • physically incapacitated,
    • away from your electoral division,
    • serving as an inmate,
    • an election officer, candidate, official agent or scrutineer, or
    • living in a remote area, as defined in the Election Act

    You may apply for a Special Ballot. You can apply:

    • in writing,
    • by telephone,
    • by fax or by email,
    • in person, or
    • online.

    Consider both of these options well in advance of Election Day, if you believe you will need to use one.  Because special ballots come by mail, we need enough time to have the ballot reach you.

    Any electors who have not made arrangements in time may find themselves unable to vote.

    Note: you must complete and return your ballot before 8 pm on Election Day. Ballots received after this time will not count as valid. (We reject all late ballots.)

  • If I am studying away from home, where do I go to vote?

    Studying within the province:

    If you are studying away from your place of ordinary residence, you may choose which address to vote from:

    1.  the place you were living before you began your studies; or
    2. the place where you are living while pursuing your studies

    What if I am out-of-province or abroad?

    If you intend to return to Alberta, Request a special ballot. Use your former Alberta address as your ordinary residence.

    These residency provisions also apply to your spouse, partner, or dependant.

  • What if I am in the hospital on Election Day?

    On Election Day, if you are in the hospital, you can still vote. We send mobile polls out to serve any electors who are residing in the hospital.

  • How do I vote if I am visually impaired?

    There are many different tools we have to assist voters with a visual impairment. Our goal is to make the process of voting simple and easy, and we aim to help you vote on your own.

    If you need help voting, please speak to the deputy returning officer at your poll. We can offer:

    • A large-print ballot
    • A magnifier, or
    • Use of a voting template.

    Otherwise, if you’d prefer, you can choose to bring a friend who can help you. We’re flexible!

  • How do I vote if I am not fluent in English?

    We hire our staff from within your local community. Many of the people we hire often speak the same language as you. If not, we also sometimes hire interpreters to work at the poll. Regardless, we want to make voting easy for you and want you to feel comfortable and welcome.

    All our polls offer print translation into the following languages:

    • Arabic | العربية
    • Chinese | 汉语 漢語
    • Cree | ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐁᐧᐃᐧᐣ / Nehiyawewin
    • Dutch | Nederlands
    • French | Français
    • German | Deutsche
    • Italian | Italiano
    • Polish | Polskie
    • Punjabi | ਪੰਜਾਬੀ
    • Spanish | Español
    • Tagalog | Tagalog
    • Ukrainian | український
    • Vietnamese | Tiếng Việt

    If your language is not listed, know that you can also bring a friend to translate for you.

  • How do I know my vote will be kept secret and secure?

    We secure the process of voting through several safeguards. From the design of forms, to the layout of polling stations, every decision is carefully made.

    All persons hired to work at an election must take an Oath of Secrecy. This oath prevents these individuals from sharing any sensitive information. This oath is also given to any person who is remaining at the poll for any length of time, like party scrutineers.

    Any person who breaks their oath can receive large fines and/or jail time.

     

    We also limit who can remain in a poll, where they are able to go, and how much interaction they have with the public. This even applies to media representatives.

    For example: we limit who can go behind the voting screen, or who can handle a ballot box.

     

    Last, we ensure that all our materials are identical and identifiable. This allows our staff to report anything that seems out of place or fraudulent.

    For example: Your ballot has indicators that tell our staff that it’s a valid ballot they’ve issued. But, it also has features that obscure how you have marked it inside.

     

    From start to finish – we take secrecy – very seriously.

  • Where do I vote?
    Once an election has begun, the fastest way you can find out where to vote is by visiting our homepage. You can also contact our call centre at 1-877-422-8683 (toll free).
     
    If you would prefer a physical guide, consider picking up our voter’s guide in your local newspaper. Also, closer to Election Day, watch for your personalized “Where to Vote” card in the mail.
  • What are the voting hours?

    Election day polls and advance polls are open from 9 am to 8 pm.

  • I would like to work during the election. How can I?
    Once an election begins, Elections Alberta needs to hire roughly 18,000 persons.
     
    Watch our Jobs page for available positions, or apply online.
  • How many electors are in Alberta?

    There are approximately 2.6 million electors on the list of electors.

  • When is the next provincial election?

    The next general election will be within the 3-month period beginning on March 1 and ending on May 31 in 2019. However, the Lieutenant Governor can dissolve the Legislature before this date, if necessary.