Understanding the Final Count

The final count determines the voting results of all ballot boxes (sometimes called ‘polls’) established as part of the election.

Differences in ballot box numbers

A total of 3,554 ballot boxes were counted as part of the Final Count:

  • 2,942 regular ballot boxes
  • 239 advance ballot boxes
  • 195 mobile ballot boxes (personal care homes)
  • 56 homebound ballot boxes
  • 61 hospital and remand centre ballot boxes
  • 61 absentee ballot boxes (vote by mail or voting in a returning office)


A total of 3,564 ballot boxes were reported as part of the Preliminary Results*:

  • 2,942 regular ballot boxes
  • 239 advance ballot boxes
  • 195 mobile ballot boxes (personal care homes)
  • 61 homebound ballot boxes
  • 59 hospital ballot boxes
  • 7 remand ballot boxes
  • 61 absentee ballot boxes (vote by mail or voting in a returning office)

*While absentee and hospital and remand centre votes in ballot boxes were not counted on election night (recorded as zero), the number of ballot boxes was included in the total reported on election night. This method of reporting was done to ensure transparency in accounting for all of the ballot boxes used in the election.

10 less ballot boxes were counted as part of the Final Count. This is because:

  • 66 hospital and remand centre ballot boxes were used during the election. These ballot boxes were all sent to head office to have their contained ballot envelopes sorted and redistributed to the 61 constituencies. This means there were 5 less boxes to consider during the Final Count.
  • 5 homebound ballot boxes were either deleted (because no homebound votes were cast) or had their ballots combined in another ballot box to protect the secrecy of the vote due the small number of ballots in the ballot box.

Why some ballot boxes are not counted on election night

Absentee ballots cast in a returning office during the election period are retained for counting at the Final Count. This is because the deadline for mailing in absentee voting packages was April 4 at 8:00 p.m. Boxes containing ballots cast in hospitals and remand centres are sent to head office to be sorted and re-distributed to each of the 61 constituencies for counting, which takes additional time.

Rejected Ballots

A ballot is rejected if it:

  • differs physically from the official ballots;
  • is blank;
  • is marked in such a way that the voter could be identified;
  • is marked for more than one candidate;
  • does not clearly indicate the intention of the voter;
  • is a write-in ballot that is marked for a political party that is not represented by a candidate in the election;
  • is a write-in ballot marked for both a candidate and a political party, but the candidate is not a representative of that political party.

Rejected ballots are counted, but no vote is recorded for a candidate. The number of rejected ballots per constituency is included in the official results and recorded on the Elections Saskatchewan website page showing the Final Count results.

Spoiled and Declined Ballots

A spoiled ballot occurs when a voter spoils a ballot by mistake when voting. The voter is entitled at that time to ask an election official for a new ballot.

A declined ballot is a ballot that a voter returns, unmarked, to an election official at the time of voting, essentially declining their right to vote.

Registered Voters

The number of registered voters when registration closed on March 23, 2016 was 750,893. This reflects the number of voters registered and the names which appeared on the official voters lists prepared before advance and election day voting began. These voters lists were used at advance and election day voting places throughout the province. This figure does not represent the total number of voters who registered for the election because it does not include voters who registered at the time of advance and election day voting. 

Therefore, turnout figures calculated at the Final Count should not be considered the ‘official’ turnout calculation for the election. That calculation can only be made once all registration documents from those voters who registered at the time of voting are processed and entered in the register of voters. 

The official total of registered voters for the election, and the official turnout numbers, will include all the additional voters who registered at the time of voting. This will be reported in the Statement of Votes for the 28th General Election which will be released in Fall 2016.

In 2011 there were additional 2,531 voters who registered at the time of voting, 0.4 per cent of the 605,615 total registrations for that election.