Advance Voting Directive
The Chief Electoral Officer has issued a Directive under section 4.11(1), 4.11(2) and 4.12 of the Election Act to enable the Vote Anywhere Service and use of accessible voting equipment at advance voting locations. The Advance Voting Directive enables the use of ballot-on-demand, tabulators, and voter assist terminals at advance voting locations.View Advance Voting Directive
Advance voting locations are technology enabled to support the Vote Anywhere Service. Any elector may vote at any advance voting location in the province and have their ballot for their electoral division printed for them on demand. Ballots, once marked by the elector, are inserted into a tabulator which will scan the ballot and record the elector’s vote. All tabulators will be programmed to provide a message to the elector if the elector’s vote cannot be determined, such as it being blank or more than one candidate being selected. In this case, electors are given the opportunity to receive a replacement ballot to ensure that their vote is cast as they intended. Learn more about the voting process at How to Vote In Person.
Accessible Voting Equipment
A voter assist terminal will be provided in at least one advance voting place in each electoral division to assist electors who wish to vote independently to read or mark the ballot. The voter assist terminal will mark a ballot generated for any of the 87 electoral divisions, and once marked are deposited in the tabulator for counting following the same procedures as all other ballots. Learn more about voter assist terminals at Accessible Voting.
While tabulators record the electors’ vote as ballots are cast, these results are not generated until the close of voting on Election Day. As advance voting locations offer Vote Anywhere each tabulator will read votes cast on ballots for all 87 electoral divisions and the results generated from each tabulator will report the results of votes cast for candidates in all 87 electoral divisions. Results will be reported by advance voting place, but with candidate vote totals being attributed to the electoral division in which they apply. Unofficial results from all advance voting locations will be reported on Election Night.
Ensuring a Secure Process
Multiple safeguards are used to ensure that tabulators are counting ballots as they are intended to be cast by electors, and voter assist terminals are marking ballots as intended by electors, including:
- Logic and Accuracy Testing: All tabulators and voter assist terminals undergo logic and accuracy testing before and after use in a voting place. For tabulators, the logic and accuracy process entails running a test deck of ballots through the tabulator to ensure that it records the intended results. The test deck includes a ballot marked for every candidate in every electoral division. For voter assist terminals, the logic and accuracy process entails marking ballots using each of the input methods and confirming that the ballot is marked in the correct location. Both processes are done in the presence of candidates or their scrutineers and is repeated after the advance vote results are reported to demonstrate that no changes in the programming of the equipment occurred while it was in use.
- Security: Tabulators and voter assist terminals are kept secure between use, with processes around access and use of the equipment from when it is received to when results are reported. Both the tabulator and voter assist terminal require a key to operate which is secured separate from the equipment outside of voting days. An election code is also required to activate the tabulator, which is only provided to the Supervisor of an advance voting place.
- Paper Ballot: The tabulator reads a paper ballot and the voter assist terminal marks the same paper ballot. All paper ballots are preserved and in the event of a judicial recount, the judge may choose to recount the paper ballots.
- No Network Connections: Neither the tabulator or voter assist terminal is ever connected to a network. Tabulators are stand-alone units that print a paper tape to report the results. Voter assist terminals are stand-alone units that mark a tabulator ballot.