- How do I apply for a recall petition?
An applicant must submit the following to Elections Alberta:
- A completed Application for Recall Petition and Notice of Recall Petition ,
- An Appointment of Chief Financial Officer ,
- Authorized ID demonstrating the elector’s identity and address within the electoral division, and
- The $500 application fee, paid by cash, a certified cheque and/or a bank or postal money order made payable to “Government of Alberta”.
- Can I submit my application form electronically?
The application form, Notice of Recall Petition, Appointment of Chief Financial Officer and copies of your identification can be submitted electronically. Electronic signatures on all forms must include a date and time stamp. Payment of the application fee may be completed in person at the Elections Alberta office or by mail. All components of the application must be received prior to it being considered for approval.
- When can I submit a recall application?
Applications can only be submitted after the first 18 months following the election of a Member in a provincial general election or by-election.
Applications cannot be submitted in the 6 months prior to the fixed election date.
As we are now in the 6-month period before the fixed election date applications for recall are not being accepted. The application period will open again 18-months after the Provincial General Election.
- What are valid reasons to recall a Member?
There is no set criteria. The only requirement is that the applicant provide a statement of 200 words or less of why, in the opinion of the applicant, the Member should be recalled.
- Can a group or an organization begin a recall campaign?
No. Only an individual who is an elector and has resided in the Member’s electoral division for at least 3 months can apply to have a petition issued.
- Is the $500 application fee refundable?
Yes, the $500 application fee will be returned to the recall applicant following the filing of the required financial disclosure reports within the required timeline.
- Can there be multiple recalls against the same Member?
No. Only one recall application for a Member can be issued during the Member’s term unless the recall petition process is terminated due to the death, incapacitation or withdrawal of the applicant.
- Can the authorized participant be changed during the recall period?
No. If the recall authorized participant is unable to continue with the recall campaign at any point before the petition sheets are returned, the authorized participant must advise Elections Alberta. All materials provided by Elections Alberta must be returned, at which time the recall canvassing period will end.
- Will authorized participants have access to the List of Electors?
No. The Recall Act does not allow authorized participants to have access to the List of Electors.
Authorized participants are not required to validate recall signatories to the List of Electors.
- How do I become a canvasser?
The authorized participant must submit an Application to Canvass for a Recall Petition to register each canvasser for the petition. The authorized participant will be notified by Elections Alberta once the approved canvassers have been registered.
- Who can register as a canvasser?
Canvassers must be electors that have lived in the electoral division in the previous 3-month period prior to canvassing. By law, canvassers must be volunteers and cannot be compensated for their time.
- Where can I find the rules around canvassing?
All canvassers must comply with the Canvasser’s Code of Conduct and any guidelines for canvassing issued by the Chief Electoral Officer.
- When can canvasser applications be submitted to Elections Alberta?
Any time after an application for a recall petition has been received by Elections Alberta until the end of the petition period. Note that if the recall petition is not approved, the canvasser applications associated with that petition will also be rejected.
- Do I need to be a registered elector to canvass?
No, as long as you are an eligible elector and have resided in the electoral division for at least 3 months you are eligible for registration as a canvasser.
- If I am the authorized participant, do I need to register as a canvasser?
Yes. The authorized participant must complete a canvasser application form to collect signatures.
- How can I prove that I am a registered canvasser?
Elections Alberta will issue identification documents to all registered canvassers who must carry it with them and produce it upon request.
- Can I demand access to apartment buildings to collect signatures?
No. Unlike candidates in elections who have legislated access for campaigning purposes, canvassers are not guaranteed access to rental properties. Access may be granted at the discretion of the landlord.
- Can I demand access to malls and recreation centres, etc., to collect signatures?
No. There are no provisions under the Recall Act to require landlords, businesses or recreation centres to provide access to canvassers. Therefore, permission must be obtained from the property manager or business owner.
- If I am a business owner, can I canvass at my work place?
Yes, as long as you are a registered canvasser.
- If I am an employer, can I pay my employees to canvass my customers?
No. Paying an employee to canvass while performing their regular job would be considered an inducement. Compensation in the form of extra vacation or leave is also considered an inducement.
- If I am an employee, can I canvass at my work place while doing my regular job?
No. By law, canvassers must be volunteers. Canvassing while performing a regular job or duties would be considered as being paid for canvassing, or collecting an inducement for canvassing.
- Can I leave petition sheets on a counter or table for customers to sign?
No. Petition sheets must not be left unattended by a canvasser. The canvasser must personally witness all voters signing their petition sheets.
- How does Elections Alberta handle complaints about the behaviour of canvassers?
Complaints relating to the conduct of canvassers can be reported to Elections Alberta. Where a complaint is found to be valid, the authorized participant is advised to correct the conduct of their canvassers. Canvassers must ensure that they abide by the legislation and regulations with respect to canvassing.
Signing a Petition
- Who is eligible to sign a recall petition?
To be eligible to sign a petition, an individual must be an elector whose has resided in the electoral division in the 3-month period leading up to the petition.
- I did not vote in the last election. Can I sign the petition?
Yes. You are entitled to sign the petition as long as you are an elector who has lived in the electoral division for at least 3 months.
- How do I know if my address is within the electoral division?
You can enter your address in Who is My MLA to determine what electoral division you are in.
- I moved into the electoral division after the Member was elected. Can I sign the petition?
Yes. You are entitled to sign the petition as long as you are an elector who has lived in the electoral division for at least 3 months.
- I lived in the electoral division when the Member was elected, but I have since moved out of the electoral division. Can I sign the petition?
No. You must currently live in the electoral division to sign the petition.
- I have a second property (vacation, rental, etc) in the electoral division. Can I sign the petition?
Electors are only eligible to sign a petition in the electoral division in which they ordinarily reside. The following rules are used to determine ordinary residence:
- a person can have only one place of ordinary residence
- a person’s ordinary residence is the place where the person lives and sleeps and to which, when the person is absent from it, the person intends to return, and
- when a person leaves Alberta with the intention of becoming ordinarily resident outside Alberta, the person’s ordinary residence in Alberta ceases
- When and where can I sign the petition?
Recall petitions can only be signed after the petition has been issued by Elections Alberta. For information about where to sign, contact the authorized participant of the petition.
- Can I sign on the Internet?
No. There are no official recall petitions online. Recall petitions must be signed by electors, in ink, on official paper petition sheets. Signatures collected in any other way are not accepted.
- If I am a canvasser, can I sign and witness my own signature on a petition sheet?
No. You may only sign a petition sheet belonging to another canvasser.
- Can I sign more than once?
No. It is an offence under the Recall Act to sign a recall petition more than once.
- Can I sign on behalf of my family members?
No. It is an offence under the Recall Act to affix a false or forged signature on the petition.
- What information do I have to provide when I sign a recall petition?
An elector signing the petition must:
- print legibly their surname and given names;
- supply the physical address where they ordinarily reside at the time of signing;
- provide their telephone number and/or email address;
- confirm that they are an elector, residing within the electoral division for the previous 3 month; and
- date it on the date which they signed the petition.
Postal addresses, such as PO box numbers, are not acceptable. Signatures not accompanied by a residential address will not be counted.
- What address do I need to provide on the petition?
Signatories must provide their physical address – this could be a civic, 911 or legal land description. This is the address that could be used on a map to determine if you live in the electoral division. Postal addresses, such as PO box numbers, are not acceptable.
- Why am I asked to provide my phone number or email address when I sign the petition?
Signatories must provide either a telephone number or email address on the petition. You may be contacted by Elections Alberta to confirm that you signed the petition or by the authorized participant to confirm that your information is correct.
- If I sign the petition, will my personal information be made public?
The Recall Act requires that petition sheets be made available for public inspection for one year from the time it is filed or submitted. Electors’ residential address and contact information (phone or email) will be obscured from public inspection.
Individuals who request to view copies of recall petition sheets are required to sign a declaration stating that the information viewed will not be used except as permitted under the Recall Act. Under section 55(3) of the Recall Act it is an offense for a person to collect, use or disclose personal information, except as permitted under the legislation and provides for penalties of up to $10,000 for breaches of this section.
- What if I make a mistake when signing the petition?
To correct mistakes, neatly put a line through the mistake and make the necessary correction. If the name or address becomes unreadable after the correction, put a line through the petition row and start again on a new row.
- I’ve signed the petition but have changed my mind – can I have my name removed?
The authorized participant may remove any signature from the petition upon the request of the elector. However, the authorized participant is not compelled to do so. Elections Alberta has no direct control over the signatures on a petition during the canvassing period, and once the petition has been submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer, Elections Alberta cannot remove a name from the petition.
- How must the petition be submitted?
The authorized participant can submit the petition to the Chief Electoral Officer by mail, courier or in person, but must meet the following rules:
- Submit all petition sheets at one time. No late submissions or partial submissions will be accepted.
- Submit only the original signed petition sheets. Photocopies and faxes of signed petition sheets will not be counted.
- Submit all of the original signed petition sheets, regardless of whether sufficient signatures have been collected.
- All petition sheets must be received at Elections Alberta by 4:30pm on the 60th day of the canvassing period.
- What happens if a petition is submitted early?
The verification period begins as soon as a petition is submitted. If an authorized participant submits a petition before the end of the 60-day canvassing period, they cannot continue to collect and submit signatures.
- How does the verification process work?
Elections Alberta will verify the petition within 30 days of the date the petition was submitted.
The verification process includes:
- Confirmation that only the petition signature sheets, as provided to the applicant, were used in the collection of signatures;
- Confirmation that only original signatures have been collected;
- A review of each signature to ensure that the required information was provided (name, physical address, contact information, date, signature);
- Confirmation that each page of the petition was witnessed by a registered canvasser, and that the witness signed the required affidavit;
- A random sampling to confirm that the addresses are within the electoral division; and
- Contacting a random sampling of electors to confirm that they signed the petition.
Incomplete or invalid signatures are screened out and are not included in the final count. If it becomes clear during any part of the verification the count will not meet the 40% threshold, no further verification is done.
- How are duplicate signatures dealt with?
Electors may only sign a recall petition once. Depending on the circumstances, Elections Alberta may investigate instances of multiple signing. Only an individual’s first signature on a petition will count.
- Does the authorized participant or the Member have any role in verification?
There is no provision in the Recall Act for observers or scrutineers.
- What happens if the petition has enough valid signatures and financing requirements have been met?
The Lieutenant Governor in Council will order a recall vote to be conducted within 6 months of the date on which the successful results were published. The question to be submitted to the electorate is whether the named member should be recalled.
A recall vote is successful if more than 50% of the electors who voted are in favor of the recall. If successful the MLA is removed and a by-election is held in the electoral division.