Manitoba Municipal Government
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The following are some answers to frequently asked questions about municipal elections:
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1. When do municipal elections take place?
Manitoba municipal elections are held every four years. The general Election Day is always the fourth Wednesday in October. The next general municipal election will be held on Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
The Rural Municipality of Victoria Beach, the Town of Winnipeg Beach, and the Village of Dunnottar hold elections every four years on the fourth Friday in July. In 2014, Election Day is Friday, July 25, 2014.
2. Who is the Senior Election Official (SEO)?
The Senior Election Official (SEO) is the person appointed by the municipality to exercise general direction and supervision over the conduct of municipal elections. In the past, this person was called the Returning Officer. The SEO will be your primary contact person should you have any questions about municipal elections, such as voting place locations, alternative voting opportunities, nominations, questions about the voters list, etc. Your municipal office will have the SEO's contact information if you are unsure who the SEO is in your municipality.
3. What are the responsibilities of council in a municipal election?
In order to uphold the integrity of the election process, municipal councils are responsible only for certain key election decisions. These decisions include:
Back to Municipal Elections
1. Where can I get information about running for office in a municipality that is amalgamating?
Your current municipal office will provide you with the name and contact information of the Senior Election Official (SEO) appointed to supervise the election of the first council of the amalgamated municipality. The SEO will be able to provide you answers to any questions that you may have about the candidate qualifications, candidate registration and nomination and other election questions.
2. Do campaign finance rules apply for elections in amalgamated municipalities?
Campaign finance rules apply for elections in amalgamated municipalities, the same as in all other municipalities.
All candidates must register with the SEO before they can accept contributions or spend money on their campaign.
The SEO will tell you what the campaign expense and contributions limits are for the amalgamated municipality and will be able to provide you with a copy of the Campaign Expenses and Contributions by-law that applies.
3. Where do candidates in an amalgamated municipality file their registration and nomination papers?
The SEO determines where registration and nomination papers will be accepted. This information is included in the registration and nomination notices.
The SEO may provide more than one location where candidates can register and file their nomination papers. To accommodate candidates at this first election of the amalgamated municipality, registration and nomination papers may be accepted at each of the municipal offices.
4. My municipality is amalgamating. How will I find out whether my name is on the voters list for the amalgamated municipality?
Contact the SEO to ensure that your name in on the voters list of the amalgamated municipality. The SEO prepares the voters list that will include all voters of the new, amalgamated municipality. The voters list can be updated until the close of nominations on September 16, 2014. This gives you time to contact the SEO to ensure that your name is included and correct on the voters list.
Your name may only be on the voters list of the amalgamated municipality once. Some voters may have been previously eligible to vote in each of the former municipalities, and now will only vote once in the amalgamated municipality. When preparing the voter's list the SEO will be checking to ensure a voter's name is not duplicated.
Some municipalities elect councillors by ward. If the amalgamated municipality has elections on a ward basis, the voters list will be prepared accordingly. If you are a resident of the municipality your name must be included on the voters list for the ward where you reside. If you do not reside in the municipality and own property in more than one ward, you will be able to choose the ward where you wish to vote.
5. My municipality is amalgamating. How will I find out where I vote?
The SEO will be able to provide you with the location where you will vote and will also have information about alternate voting options (advance voting, voting by sealed envelope ballot). The election notices will also include information on voting locations. It is important for voters of the amalgamated municipality to have access to voting locations. Therefore, the SEO, when deciding on the voting locations, may continue to use locations that voters are already familiar with, and may also decide to use different locations.
6. Our municipalities, an urban and a rural municipality, are amalgamating. The head of council in the urban municipality is the Mayor, and the head of council in the rural municipality is the Reeve. Candidates are now registering to run in the upcoming Municipal Election for the head of council position. Will the head of council in the new, amalgamated municipality be called the Mayor or the Reeve?
Under The Municipal Act, the head of a council must have the title "Mayor", "Reeve" or "Head of council". The title of the head of council is designated by council in the municipality’s organizational by-law. The council of the new, amalgamated municipality will determine what title the head of council will use when council passes the organizational by-law for the new municipality in 2015.
The SEO may use "head of council" to refer to the position on election forms, election notices, etc.
7. What happens after the election in an amalgamated municipality? When does the new Council's term begin?
The amalgamated municipality becomes operational January 1, 2015. To coincide with this date, the newly elected council of amalgamated municipalities also takes office January 1, 2015. However, prior to taking office the new Council can begin to prepare for when the amalgamated municipality is operational. This could include reviewing municipal by-laws and developing a draft 2015 financial plan.
The existing Councils' term of office is extended to December 31, 2014 to coincide with when the former municipalities cease their operations. The authority of the existing Councils to make decisions will be limited to "housekeeping" matters only. Councils will only be able to spend money that is authorized in their respective 2014 financial plans. They will not have the authority to enter in a contract or new agreement that binds the new Council of the amalgamated municipality.
8. My municipality now has a Local Urban District (LUD). How does the LUD Committee get elected?
A Local Urban District, commonly known as an LUD, is an urban area within a rural municipality where services delivered are to LUD residents and property owners and are funded through a LUD levy.
LUD committee members are elected at the October 2014 General Municipal Election, at the same time as when municipal councils are elected. Only a resident or property owner of the LUD is eligible to run as a candidate in the LUD or vote for members of the LUD Committee.
1. What is the term length of municipal elected officials?
If elected to a municipal council, you will be expected to serve a four year term. Officially, the term begins at noon the day after Election Day. (October 23, 2014)
If you are elected to a council of an amalgamated municipality, your term of office begins January 1, 2015, when the new amalgamated municipality begins to function.
2. Do municipal officials receive a salary for their service?
Members of council receive compensation, called an indemnity, for their work on council. Each council sets the type and rates of payment to members, so the amount of compensation varies amongst municipalities. The Municipal Act requires the municipality's annual financial statement to show the amount of compensation.
3. What are the qualifications to run for municipal council or a Local Urban District committee?
You may run for municipal office if you:
You are strongly encouraged to speak with the Senior Election Official if you have any questions about your qualifications.
You may not run for municipal office if you:
4. Can I run for office if I work for the municipality or a regional municipal body (Planning District, Conservation District, etc.)?
Yes, but only if you obtain a leave of absence. Section 92 of The Municipal Act allows any employee, except the Chief Administrative Officer, or any employee of a regional municipal body (e.g., a Planning District, Conservation District, Regional Waste Management Board, Weed Control District) to apply for a leave of absence before the close of nominations in order to run in a municipal election.
5. Can I run for office in a municipal election if I am a federal public servant?
A federal public servant wishing to seek nomination as or be a candidate in a municipal election must first obtain permission from the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC). An employee can make public his or her intention to be a candidate and undertake candidacy related activities only after the PSC has granted the permission.
More information is available on the PSC Web site at www.psc-cfp.gc.ca under the "Political Activities and You" section or by contacting the PSC at 1-866-707-7152, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. May I hold elected office in a school division and municipality at the same time?
You may not run for municipal office if you are a sitting member, or are nominated to run for office, in another local authority (including a school division). You may not run for school division office if you are a sitting member, or are nominated to run for office, in another local authority (including a municipality). A sitting councillor or school trustee must first resign from their position in order to run in a by-election.
7. Can I run as a candidate for councillor in a ward that I do not reside or own property in, as long as I reside or own property in the municipality?
If you meet the qualifications requirements to run for office in your municipality, you may run as a candidate in any ward in the municipality, even if you reside or own property in a different ward.
8. I am a councillor, and the Mayor has just resigned. Can I run for the office of Mayor / Reeve in the upcoming by-election?
Any sitting councillor must first resign from their current position in order to run for head of council. The resignation must be submitted at least 42 days before the by-election, so it is possible to run additional by-elections at the same time.
9. If I register to run for Head of Council, am I later able to change my registration to run for councillor instead?
A person can only be nominated for one office. When a person registers as a candidate he or she must state the office that they are registering for (ie., Head of Council or councillor). If a candidate registers for one office, then decides to run for a different office instead, they must notify the SEO in writing of the change.
Candidates will be subject to the campaign finance rules regarding expense limits for the office that they are seeking. Candidates will also be required to file an Election Finance Statement for both of their campaigns by the deadline(s) established in the municipality’s by-law, even if they did not receive any contributions or incur any expenses in one or both campaigns.
10. When can I start campaigning?
You must register before you can begin to accept contributions and spend money on your campaign. To register, you must fill out a Registration Form, available from your municipality's Senior Election Official.
11. When can I register?
Candidates must register within a certain timeframe.
For Victoria Beach, Winnipeg Beach, and Dunnottar:
For all other municipalities:
12. Can the public view my registration form?
Yes, your registration form is kept in the possession of the Senior Election Official. Interested members of the public may view it during the Senior Election Official's regular office hours.
13. Are there any rules about spending money for my campaign, or reporting the amounts I spend?
Yes. Campaign finance rules are in place for all municipalities under The Municipal Act.
Please see the campaign finance section below for more information.
14. Can I pick up nomination papers when I register?
Yes. The Senior Election Official will have nomination papers available for you when you register.
15. How many people need to nominate me to run for office?
At least one percent of the eligible voters in your municipality must sign in support of your nomination. These voters must appear on the municipality's voters list to be considered eligible. For example, if there are 1,679 eligible voters, you must obtain at least 17 signatures. The maximum number of signatures you must obtain is 25 – the minimum is two. Talk to the Senior Election Official to ensure you know the minimum number of signatures you need on your nomination form.
16. When do I have to file my nomination papers?
All candidates must file nomination papers, available from the Senior Election Official in order to run for election.
Papers must be filed during the nomination period. The nomination period is:
17. Can the public view my nomination papers?
Yes, once you file your nomination papers, they are kept in the possession of the Senior Election Official. Interested members of the public may view them during the Senior Election Official's regular office hours.
18. What if I decide I don't want to run for office after I've filed my nomination?
If you file your nomination, and then decide that you do not want to run for office, you may withdraw your name under certain conditions. Your withdrawal will only be accepted up until 24 hours after the nomination period closes, and only if enough candidates remain to fill the offices. You must sign your withdrawal in the presence of a witness, and file it with the Senior Election Official during office hours.
19. Can I have campaign signs at the voting place on Election Day?
There are strict rules regarding political activities at voting places. Any activity in contravention of the Act may be considered an election offence and could have serious repercussions. No person may, within 50 metres of a voting place:
If a candidate's sign is located within 50 metres of a voting place on Election Day, an election official is empowered by legislation to remove it, or may order the candidate or official agent to remove it or obscure it immediately. A person that contravenes a provision of The Municipal Councils and School Boards Elections Act is guilty of an election offence.
20. I have been asked by a candidate to act as scrutineer. What does a scrutineer do?
The role of the scrutineer is to assist the candidate with tracking the progress of the vote on Election Day (and any alternative voting opportunities, such as advance or sealed envelope voting), to raise legitimate objections regarding a voter's qualifications, and to observe the ballot count after the voting places close.
Scrutineers are also entitled to be present at any alternative voting opportunities, such as advance voting or to observe the sealed envelope ballot count. It would be helpful to check with the Senior Election Official to get a complete sense of the responsibilities and authorities of scrutineers.
The appointment of a scrutineer must be made in writing and filed with the Senior Election Official. The Senior Election Official will have a standard form that can be used for the appointment. The scrutineer must bring a copy of this form to present to the voting official while on duty. The scrutineer should also keep a copy of the appointment form at all times so that the scrutineer can identify themselves when asked.
21. How many scrutineers is a candidate allowed to appoint?
The legislation states that a maximum of two scrutineers (per candidate) are entitled to be present at a voting station at one time. However, a candidate can appoint as many scrutineers as he / she would like.
22. Is a candidate entitled to act as a scrutineer?
A candidate is entitled to undertake the duties of a scrutineer or may assist scrutineers. However the rule still applies that there may be no more than two scrutineers at a voting station at one time.
23. Is the scrutineer able to wear or display anything that shows they represent a particular candidate?
On Election Day, scrutineers may wear a badge or ribbon indicating, by colour alone (not name), the candidate they represent. No other person may wear anything that identifies the person as a supporter of the candidate.
1. When am I allowed to accept contributions and spend money on my campaign?
Candidates can begin accepting contributions and accepting money on their campaign as soon as they are registered. Candidates may spend money and collect contributions during the entire campaign period.
For Victoria Beach. Winnipeg Beach, and Dunnottar:
2. Do I have to set up a campaign account at a bank or credit union?
Candidates must set up a campaign account at a financial institution (e.g., bank, credit union, caisse populaire) if they are going to receive monetary contributions.
The campaign account must be used only for election purposes.
Details of the account, including the name of the financial institution, and the account number need to be provided to the Senior Election Official on your Registration Form.
Where the candidate is the only contributor and expenditures are minor a campaign account may be unnecessary or unreasonable. In such circumstances, it is essential that candidates keep records of all expenditures they make, together with receipts.
3. Who can contribute to my campaign?
Only residents of Manitoba can contribute to a municipal campaign. A candidate cannot receive contributions from unions, corporations, or any other organization (e.g., chamber of commerce, rotary club, etc.). Candidates also cannot receive anonymous contributions.
4. What do I do if I receive anonymous or ineligible contributions?
Anonymous contributions must be turned over to the Senior Election Official.
Contributions from non-Manitoba residents, unions, corporations, etc. must be returned to the contributor.
5. Is there a limit to the amount that an individual can contribute to one candidate?
Yes. The maximum amount that any person may contribute to one candidate is set in legislation. Monetary and non-monetary contributions are counted towards the limit.
An individual may contribute up to $1,500 to a mayor/reeve candidate and councillors to be elected at large, or $750 to a councillor candidate to be elected by ward.
These contribution limits also apply to candidates and their spouses.
6. Can I hold a fundraiser for my campaign?
Yes. However, if you hold a fundraiser to raise money for your campaign, part of the revenue you raise will be considered a contribution.
Candidates should check with their municipality's Chief Administrative Officer for more information.
7. Am I allowed to receive non-monetary contributions, such as goods or services?
Candidates may receive non-monetary contributions, for example the donation of a good or service.
When the good or service is provided by a person who earns a living providing that good or service (e.g., the design of your campaign pamphlet from a professional graphic designer, etc.), the value of the good or service must be recorded as a non-monetary contribution.
However, not every good or service a candidate receives is a contribution. For example, it is not a contribution if a neighbour bakes muffins for your campaign workers or a friend helps you design a campaign pamphlet.
If you are unsure whether a contribution can be accepted, check with your municipality's Chief Administrative Officer.
8. Can I take out a loan to help pay for my campaign?
Yes. Candidates can borrow money for their campaign however there are certain restrictions, including how loans are to be repaid:
Any loans must be repaid by the time a candidate files their Election Finance Statement.
9. Is there a limit on the expenses that I can incur during my campaign?
Yes. An expense limit will be set by your municipality, by by-law.
Candidates should check with their municipality's Chief Administrative Officer to determine their expense limit. The information is also included in your municipality's Campaign Expenses and Contributions Bylaw.
10. What is considered to be a campaign expense?
Eligible expenses may include but are not limited to:
Expenses also include campaign-related costs incurred by volunteers.
If you are unsure as to what is an eligible expense, and counted toward your expense limit, check with your municipality's Chief Administrative Officer.
11. Do I have to keep track of my campaign contributions and expenses? How do I do this?
Yes. You must keep track of any contributions received or money spent on your campaign. You will need this information to file your Election Finance Statement.
Candidates must keep financial records (e.g., copies of receipts, cancelled cheques, bank statements, etc.) from their campaign for at least 2 years after the election. This information must be available on request to your municipality's Chief Administrative Officer.
Each municipality will determine in its Campaign Expenses and Contributions Bylaw how candidates are to keep records of contributions and expenses. Basic information will include:
12. What is an Election Finance Statement?
All registered candidates must file an Election Finance Statement. This includes both elected candidates and unelected candidates (those who were registered but never nominated, those who withdrew, or those who were not elected).
Once the election is over, all registered candidates must file an Election Finance Statement with the municipality's Chief Administrative Officer. The Chief Administrative Officer or the Senior Election Official can provide you with the Election Finance Statement to be filled out.
Candidate's statements are available for public inspection at your municipal office. They must include:
13. Do I need to file an Election Finance Statement if I have no campaign contributions or expenses?
Yes. All registered candidates must file Election Finance Statements. If you have no campaign contributions or expenses you are required to file a nil statement by the appropriate deadline.
14. When do I have to file my Election Finance Statement?
There are strict deadlines for filing Election Finance Statements. The deadline is established in your municipality's Campaign Expenses and Contributions Bylaw. Check with your Chief Administrative Officer for the filing date for your municipality.
It is recommended that candidates file their Election Finance Statement as soon as possible after the election, to ensure that there is enough time to address any matters that may arise.
15. What happens if I don't file my Election Finance Statement on time?
Candidates must file their Election Finance Statement on time or face penalties.
Elected candidates who do not file on time will not be allowed to sit on council, or may be disqualified from council.
Registered candidates who are not nominated, withdraw, or not elected, and who fail to file will not be allowed to run for council until after the next general municipal election.
16. What do I do if my Election Finance Statement shows a surplus?
Any surplus showing on a candidate's Election Finance Statement must be turned over to the municipality.
The municipality will return the funds to the candidate if the individual registers as a candidate in the next general election. If the individual chooses not to run, the money will be transferred to the general funds of the municipality.
17. Am I allowed to show a deficit on my Election Finance Statement?
It is very important for candidates to manage their campaigns to ensure their expenses do not exceed their contributions.
18. Do campaign finance rules apply to by-elections?
Yes. Campaign finance rules are in effect for all by-elections and general municipal elections.
1. Who is eligible to vote in a municipal election and a Local Urban District committee election?
There are two types of voters that are qualified to vote in a municipal election and a Local Urban District committee election.
Persons with no fixed address may vote in a municipal election. If the person has no ordinary or "fixed" residence in the local authority, they are deemed to reside at the shelter, hostel or other similar institution that most frequently provides lodging, food or other social services.
Non-resident Voters: In order to qualify as a non-resident voter, a person must
For municipal election purposes, "registered owner of land" means:
2. I don't live in the municipality, but I own property - can I vote?
If you are a resident of Manitoba, own property in the municipality, and are otherwise qualified to vote, you may be able to vote in the municipal election as a non-resident property owner.
If you own property with other non-resident property owners, only two of you can vote. You must obtain written consent from the majority of the other property owners and file this with the Senior Election Official in order to vote.
3. I am moving this summer from Ward A in my municipality to Ward B. Will I be able to vote in Ward B even though I have lived in the ward for less than 6 months on Election Day? Is this the same if my municipality is amalgamating?
A qualified resident voter's name must be placed on the voters list for the ward in which he or she resides. A person must be a resident of the municipality for at least 6 months before Election Day to qualify as a resident voter - there is no term of residency requirement to vote in a ward. As long as a person qualifies as a registered voter in the municipality, that person also qualifies to vote in the ward in which they reside on Election Day.
This is the same for municipalities that are amalgamating. If the new, amalgamated municipality holds elections on a ward basis, a qualified resident voter's name must be placed on the voters list for the ward in which he or she resides.
If you move from one ward to another within your municipality, contact your SEO to ensure that your name is included on the voter’s list correctly. The SEO may update the voters list until the close of nominations on September 16, 2014.
4. I am a property owner in the Local Urban District (LUD) but do not reside in the LUD. Am I entitled to vote for the LUD committee members?
LUD committee members are elected by the voters of the LUD. To qualify as a voter of the LUD, a person must be a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years of age, and either a resident of the LUD or a registered owner of land in the LUD for at least six months before Election Day.
5. For school division elections, if I don't reside in the school division, but own property - can I vote?
No, for school division elections, you must be a resident of the school division to be eligible to vote. Non-resident property voters may only vote in municipal elections.
6. How can I find out if my municipal councillors are elected in wards?
It is up to the local council to decide whether councillors are elected at-large or by wards. Contact your local municipal office to find out whether a ward by-law is in place in your municipality.
7. My municipality has wards. I live in one ward and own property in another. Can I vote in both?
No, you may only vote once in an election within a municipality. If you live in one ward and own property in another ward, you must vote in the ward where you reside.
8. I own property in two wards in a municipality - Can I vote in both wards?
No, you may only vote once in an election within a municipality. If you own property in two wards, you must notify the Senior Election Official of the ward where you would like to vote. If you do not choose a ward at least six weeks before Election Day, the Senior Election Official will choose one for you.
9. I live in one municipality, and own property in another municipality. Can I vote in both municipal elections?
Yes, if you are qualified as a resident voter in one municipality, and are qualified as a non-resident property owner in another municipality, you can vote in both municipal elections.
10. My property is registered in the name of a corporation. Am I qualified to vote as a non-resident owner in the municipal election where that property is located?
No, the owners of a corporation or a company do not quality to vote in a municipal election as non-resident owners. Unless you are a resident of the municipality, your property must be registered in your name and not in the name of a corporation before you qualify to vote.
11. I am a member of a First Nation, living on reserve. Can I vote in a municipal election?
Persons residing within a First Nations reserve are not residents of any municipality, and are therefore not qualified to vote in a municipal election. First Nations reserves are excluded from municipal boundaries, as set out in the Municipal Status and Boundaries Regulation (567/88 R). However, if you reside on a First Nations reserve, but own property in a municipality, you are entitled to vote as a non-resident property owner.
12. Can I have my name, address and other information omitted or obscured from the voters' list?
If a voter wishes to have their information obscured from the voters’ list, they may file an application with the SEO in person, by mail or by fax. After receiving the application, the SEO must give the applicant a personal security certificate that includes an identification number to be used as a replacement for the person's name and address. A person who is given a personal security certificate may only vote by sealed envelope ballot.
1. Do I need identification in order to vote?
A voter may be asked to produce identification before being given a ballot by the voting official if there are questions about the voter's eligibility. All voters should bring identification with them to the voting place, or when requesting a sealed envelope ballot in person. Even voters who request a sealed envelope ballot in writing must submit photocopies of their ID when applying to vote. Acceptable identification includes an official document issued by the federal, provincial or municipal government that contains the voter's name, address and photograph or at least two documents that provide evidence satisfactory to the election official.
2. Do I get time off work to vote in a local election?
No. Voting places are open from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. to provide enough time to vote. In addition, the law requires municipalities to provide at least one advance voting opportunity, as well as a sealed envelope voting opportunity. There are plenty of additional opportunities so that people who are unable to vote on general Election Day are still able to vote.
3. If I am not on the voters list, can I still register to vote on Election Day?
Yes, any qualified voter who is not on the voters list can vote on Election Day. However, you will be asked to provide photo identification when registering to vote, so ensure you bring acceptable identification with you to the voting station. If you are not sure of the voting station you are to attend, contact your local municipal office.
4. Am I allowed to look at the voters list?
A voter is only entitled to view his / her own personal information on the voters list to determine whether it is correct. Voters may contact their Senior Election Official to find out a good time to view their information, if interested. Only candidates, their official agents and election officials are entitled to view the full voters list, and the information on the voters list may be used for election purposes only.
5. How will I know where to vote?
Your Senior Election Official is required to give notice of the locations of voting places in the local newspaper, or by mailing / distributing a copy to every household in the municipality. Keep your eye on the paper prior to Election Day, or phone your Senior Election Official or local municipal office.
6. If a voter accidentally spoils their ballot, can they request a replacement ballot?
Yes, if a voter accidentally spoils their ballot paper, it can be returned to the voting official and the person will be given another ballot. The returned ballot is immediately marked "spoiled" and is placed in a special envelope for spoiled ballots.
7. Can I take someone into the voting compartment with me?
Yes. A voter with a physical disability or who has difficulty reading may ask the voting official to allow another person to help with marking his / her ballot. The "friend of the voter" must be at least 18 years of age, must not have assisted more than one other person, and must take an oath that he / she will preserve the secrecy of the vote. In addition, any election official may assist a voter that requires help marking his / her ballot.
8. How can a visually impaired or blind person be assisted in marking their ballot?
A template should be available to assist a visually impaired voter in marking their ballot. The template allows the voter to mark the ballot by lining up the template circles over the ballot, and marking the appropriate circle for the candidate of their choice. The election official may be asked to assist the voter in getting to and from the voting compartment, but must leave the voting compartment while the voter marks the ballot (unless the voter requests further assistance from the election official).
In addition, the voter may wish for an election official or friend to accompany him / her to the voting compartment to assist in marking the ballot according to the voter's wishes.
9. How many voters may a person assist in marking their ballot?
Except for an election official, who may assist as many voters as required, a person may assist no more than two voters in marking their ballot.
10. I have difficulty understanding the voting official because I am not fluent in the language being spoken. How can I be assisted in marking my ballot?
The Senior Election Official may appoint an interpreter to assist at voting places. If the Senior Election Official knows that there are a large number of voters who speak a language other than the one being used at the voting place, the Senior Election Official may decide to appoint an interpreter. If no interpreter is available, the voter may ask for the assistance of an election official when voting.
1. I won't be here on Election Day - how can I vote?
2. Can I vote by mail?
3. Can I vote through the Internet?
Local authorities are required to hold at least one advance voting opportunity between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and can choose to offer additional opportunities. The Senior Election Official will set a date for advance voting, which can be anywhere between the day when ballots are printed up until 48 hours before Election Day. The Senior Election Official must give public notice of the date and location so that voters are informed of the advance voting opportunity. Contact your Senior Election Official or local municipal office for more information.
Yes, interested voters should contact the Senior Election Official to obtain an application form. Voters may apply to the Senior Election Official to vote by sealed envelope either in person, by mail or by fax. Remember to apply early enough so that you can return the marked ballot to the Senior Election Official by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
If applying in person, be sure to bring appropriate ID with you. Ballots should be ready to pick up in person 28 days before Election Day.
If applying by mail or by fax, you will be required to submit a photocopy of identification with the application. Voters may apply up to three months before the election, and a sealed envelope ballot package will be sent to the voter when ballots are ready. If you apply more than twelve days before the election, the sealed envelope ballot package will me mailed to you. If less than twelve days remain between the day you apply and Election Day, the Senior Election Official. will discuss with you the best delivery method to ensure the ballot reaches you in time to return it by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
No, Internet voting is not available in Manitoba.
1. Can a member of council act as an election official?
No, elected officials (mayor, reeve, members of council) cannot be appointed as election officials.
2. Must the appointment of election officials be made annually?
No, the appointment of the Senior Election Official is in place until such time as council appoints another person to act as Senior Election Official. The election officials appointed by the Senior Election Official, however, are made at the discretion of the Senior Election Official. The Senior Election Official will likely make additional appointments in an election year, and the same election officials may not be available during each election.
3. What can be done if one of the appointed election officials becomes ill and cannot complete their duties?
The Senior Election Official should have a list of alternate election officials who could be called in and appointed on short notice. Remember, any appointed election official must take the required oath before commencing their duties.
4. What can be done to expedite the printing of ballots for the municipal election?
One of the duties of the Senior Election Official is to ensure that the ballots are printed and ready in time for Election Day, but also for alternative voting opportunities. Remember that voters may apply in person to vote by sealed envelope ballot 28 days before the election, so the Senior Election Official should ensure ballots are ready for this day.
It is recommended that arrangements be made by the end of May for printing of ballots in an election year. Tenders (if required) can be arranged well before the nomination period begins. Once a printer is chosen, they can be advised of the number, type and potential set up of the ballots. This will ensure that the preliminary arrangements are made in order to speed up the processing time once the candidate names are confirmed.
The Senior Election Official needs to decide ahead of time whether the order of the candidates' names on the ballots will be by random or rotational order and should advise candidates when they file their nominations. If random ordering is chosen, the Senior Election Official should be advising candidates and / or their official agents of the date, time and location when name ordering will be determined. This date should be very soon after the candidate withdrawal period ends (24 hours after the nomination period closes) so that the final lay-out of the ballot can be provided to the printer as soon as possible.
5. How can the election officials keep order in the voting place and attend to their duties if someone creates a disturbance at the voting place?
An election official may require a peace officer or other person to assist in maintaining peace and order at a voting place.
6. What should be considered when selecting and setting up a voting place?
A voting place must be in a convenient location for the majority of voters served by it. The Senior Election Official must also take all necessary steps to ensure the voting place is accessible to persons with disabilities. Many municipal sites will serve well as voting places, such as community centres, recreation centres and / or church halls. Some considerations for setting up a voting place include:
7. Can a voting place be established in the basement of a community hall or in the lounge area at the Legion?
As far as practicable, the voting place must be accessible to all voters, including wheelchair users, so a basement would not be a good location. A voting place must also not be in any premise licensed under The Liquor Control Act, including the lounge area at the Legion.
8. According to The Municipal Councils and School Boards Elections Act, the voting place must be open at 8:00 a.m. on Election Day, and close at 8:00 p.m. If there is a power outage or a snowstorm which makes it difficult or impossible to keep the voting place open, how can we meet the legislated time-frame?
If an emergency situation arises during voting hours, the legislation allows the voting to be temporarily suspended and continued when circumstances allow. If the voting is interrupted at any time during Election Day, it is to resume for a period equal to the period of the interruption. This period must be within seven days and between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
9. What kinds of signs can be posted at the voting place on Election Day?
The only type of signs that are allowed to be posted within 50 metres of the voting place are signs posted by election officials, which could include directions for voters on where to proceed for marking their ballots or signs directing people to parking areas. Unauthorized signs will be removed. Candidates should be advised of the requirements prior to Election Day and requested to comply.
10. Who can be present at the voting station on Election Day?
The only persons that can be present at the voting stations are:
1. Who can be present when ballots are being counted?
The only persons that can be present during the count are:
2. When will the election results be available?
The methods of handling and announcing the results of the election will vary, depending on the municipality. When the voting places close at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, all election ballots, including advanced, sealed envelope and mobile ballots, must be counted in the presence of a voting official, another election official, the candidate and / or agents and scrutineers. After the count is complete, the ballots and all election materials are delivered to the Senior Election Official. The Senior Election Official will then announce the official results as soon as possible.
3. What happens if there is a tie vote?
If a tie for office is confirmed, and no objection was raised about any ballot, the Senior Election Official must declare the office vacant and immediately call a by-election. This means that any interested candidates will have to re-register, a new nomination period will be set, and any candidates will be required to file a nomination form, including those candidates that ran in the general election.
4. What if I have concerns about the election count?
A voter may apply for a judicial recount within 14 days of the election if it is believed that the ballots were not correctly accepted, rejected or discarded by the voting official during the count, or if the voter believes the statement of the vote is incorrect or the official results are inaccurate.
5. What happens to election documents after the election?
Documents and materials related to the election that are in the possession of the Senior Election Official - such as nomination papers, the statement of the vote, or the official results – are available for public inspection up to six months after the election. However, this does not include ballots or personal security certificates as these are kept confidential to uphold secrecy requirements under the legislation.
After the six month period, the Senior Election Official is required to destroy the ballots.
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