On August 15, 2021, a vacancy was created in the electoral division of Fort McMurray – Lac La Biche. This occurred when Laila Goodridge resigned as a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) to run for Member of Parliament (MP) in the electoral district of Fort McMurray – Cold Lake.
Following a vacancy, an Order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council to conduct a by-election needs to be issued within 6 months. Elections Alberta is not involved in determining the timing of the by-election.
The Order in Council for Fort McMurray – Lac La Biche must be issued by February 15, 2022. This date refers to when the order for the by-election must be issued, not the date of the election. Once the Writ of Election is issued, the by-election will be held 28 days later.
By-elections follow the same procedures as provincial elections under the Election Act. In addition to voting on Election Day, electors will be able to cast a ballot at the advance polls (Tuesday through Saturday the week prior to Election Day) or by completing a Special Ballot at the returning office or by mail.
Request for Approval of Procedures to Test in a By-Election
On October 4, 2021, Elections Alberta requested the approval of the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices to test new equipment and procedures, including the ability to respond more effectively to any public health orders, under section 4.1 of the Election Act. The proposal included the following modifications to the Election Act:
- Alternate staffing model for Election Day;
- Changes to how scrutineers are appointed in the polling place;
- Streamlining of data sharing with candidates and parties;
- Changes to the processes for the Official Count;
- Modifications to the Special Ballot process; and
- Alternative voting options for mobile polls.
Elections Alberta provided a presentation to the Standing Committee on October 7, 2021 and received approval on the same day to test all procedures except for the “alternate staffing model for Election Day”.